Prague Quadrennial 2019 at Prague Exhibition

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Grounds: 11 Days, 79 Countries, 800 Artists, 600 Events

The 14th edition of the largest international festival of theater and stage design will take place from June 6 to 16, 2019 at Výstaviště Praha (Prague Exhibition Grounds). Over the course of eleven days, representatives of 79 countries will present at Prague Quadrennial, with over 800 artists from around the world, and over 600 performances, workshops and lectures. Special guests at this year’s festival include illustrator Olivia Lomenech Gill, Italian opera director and scenographer Stefano Poda, and audiovisual artist Romain Tardy. Three thematic areas of interest are interwoven throughout the entire PQ program: Imagination, Transformation, and Memory. PQ presents three competitive exhibition sections: Exhibition of Countries and Regions, Student Exhibition,and Performance Space Architecture Exhibition. There will also be performative projects in public spaces – Formations and Site Specific Performance Festival. Fragments presents iconic objects and artifacts. The 36Q° audiovisual project will take over the Malá sportovní hala (Small Sports Hall). Studio PQ showcases the work of emerging young artists. PQ Talks features lectures and discussions with the stars of world theatre and scenography. There will also be the PQ Youth and Family program. The gala opening will take place on June 5 at Výstaviště Praha (Prague Exhibition Grounds).

“PQ is a gathering place – it brings together the international community of scenographers, directors, students, and artists, as well as visitors from around the world who, throughout the 11 days of the festival, will experience the contemporary world through the lens of stage design together. ‛Perception’ is key this year. We want to show that a scenography display does not have to be a mere exhibition of objects. Thanks to human creativity and fantasy, scenography enables us to experience unique moments,” says PQ 2019 artistic director Markéta Fantová.

PQ Stars: illustrator Olivia Lomnech Gill, opera director Stefano Poda, and audiovisual artist Romain Tardy

Among the stars of this year’s festival is illustrator Olivia Lomenech Gill, who gained fame for her illustrations for J.K. Rowling’s book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, 2017. As part of PQ Talks, she will present her works and will even offer a lecture designed specifically for younger visitors. French visual artist Romain Tardy, known as the founder of the visual art group ANTIVJ, is the artistic director of the audiovisual section of 36Q°. He has coordinated a group of renowned artists from various fields – from music to VR technology to lighting design. The core of the project will be the installation Blue Hour – an experimental, interactive environment that fills the Malá sportovní hala (Small Sports Hall) at Výstaviště Praha (Prague Exhibition Grounds). Another important guest is famous opera director, costume designer, and choreographer Stefano Poda. Prominent costume designer Fruzsina Nagy, who presented her work during PQ 2011 in the Extreme Costume project, will also join us this year, co-curator of the project a team of curators - lectures for children's visitors (Small Sports Hall) Romain Tardy.

PQ 2019 Areas of Interest: Imagination, Transformation, and Memory

Three thematic areas of interest are interwoven throughout the entire PQ program, which artistic director Margaret Fantová describes as three different and cyclically repeating phases of the creative process: Imagination, Transformation, and Memory. Imagination will include the Student Exhibition, where students, young designers and young design studios will present their work; the Site Specific Performance Festival; PQ Studio, the program for emerging theatre designers; and PQ Family. Transformation includes the Exhibition of Countries and Regions; the Performance Space Architecture Exhibition; the performative project Formations, which links architecture, urbanism, dance, and movement theatre; the 36Q° project, dedicated to light and sound design; and PQ Talks, a series of presentations, lectures and discussions. Memory features the Fragments exhibition. The Emergence project weaves its way through all three areas of interest.

The Golden Triga

The concept of this year’s PQ is loosely inspired by the sculpture of the Golden Triga, the grand prize, which is traditionally awarded to the best exhibition at PQ. “For us, the Triga is a metaphor for the combination of three different forces into one force leading toward a common goal. It highlights the importance of close collaboration that, by bringing together various talents, produces results that an individual could barely achieve on his or her own,” explains artistic director Markéta Fantová. Prizes include the prestigious Golden Triga award for the Best Exposition and Gold Medals in numerous categories, which cover a variety of disciplines falling under scenography (costumes, lighting, sound design, and more). Prizes are awarded by the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic based on recommendations by the international jury and PQ organizers (with the exception of the Children’s Audience Award, which is presented by Czech Television). A new statue for PQ 2019 is design by an architect Petr Bakoš..

International Curatorial Team

An international team of experts was involved in the planning of PQ: Markéta Fantová (PQ 2019 artistic director and 36Q° project co-curator), Serge Von Arx and D. Chase Angier (Formations project curators), Pavel Drábek and Barbora Příhodová (PQ Talks curators), Sophie Jump (Site Specific Festival curator), Patrick Du Wors (PQ Studio curator, PQ Studio: Festival co-curator), Michal Lážňovský (PQ Studio: Festival co-curator), Klára Zieglerová (Fragments curator), and Jan K. Rolník (36Q° co-curator).

PQ 2019 Will Dominate Výstaviště Praha (Prague Exhibition Grounds)

PQ returns to Výstaviště Praha (Prague Exhibition Grounds) after 12 years and will enliven the Průmyslový palác (Industrial Palace) as well as the surrounding complex, including the Křižíkové pavilony (Křižík Pavilions) and the Malá sportovní hala (Small Sports Hall). PQ is historically associated with the site – the very first edition took place here in 1967. Výstaviště Praha (Prague Exhibition Grounds), which was built for the Jubilee Exhibition in 1891, is dominated by the Průmyslový palác (Industrial Palace), designed by architects Bedřich Münzberger and František Munchausen. The Prague Quadrennial took place here in 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. In 2008, however, the left wing of the Průmyslový palác (Industrial Palace) burned down and since then, PQ was held at the Veletržní palác (Trade Fair Palace) or the historical city center.