PQ Talks

PQ Talks offers a space for diverse ideas within the artistic and academic communities to understand the different ways performance design is conceived by artists within different cultures and diverse traditions.

Curated by Pavel Drábek & Barbora Příhodová
6-15 June
Křižík Pavilion E 

PQ Talks engages critical debate of what performance design and scenography was, is, and could be, andaims to reflect trends in contemporary scenography: raising questions around collaboration, techniques, and artistic processes, their underlying principles, sources, and innovations. Discussion panels, round tables, keynote presentations and ten-minute flashtalks grouped in broad thematic blocks seek to offer a space for diversity and variety of artistic and academic ideas, their conceptions, communities, cultures, and traditions. Through discussion, wonder, doubt, provocation, analysis, theorization, and celebration of the creative, intellectual and cultural riches of scenography in our world, PQ Talks taps into the untried and the indeterminate  looking for blind spots, and things that we don’t know rather than repeating what is known; exploring not only the image, the artifact and the message, but also the unknowns, the possible, the uncertain, the once-to-be and the playful.

Distinguished Keynote Speakers excel in different artistic disciplines: Stefano Poda (IT) is an opera director and scenographer, Olivia Lomenech Gill (UK), an illustrator and printmaker, and the international team of artists and curators for 36Q° who will reflect on the vanishing boundaries between the physical and digital world. In collaboration with the Goethe-Institut in Prague and Theater der Zeit we welcome the theatre visionaries Bettina Meyer (DE), and Annette Kurz (DE) & Luk Perceval (BE). Additionally, Rosane Muniz (BR) moderates a discussion on international curatorial practices between Jochen Volz (DE/BR), General Director of Pinacoteca de São Paulo, Kate Bailey (UK), senior curator and producer at the V&A Museum in London and PQ 2019 Jury Member, and Markéta Fantová (CZ), PQ’s Artistic Director. We will also host discussion panels of international “legends” of scenography and performance design represented in Fragments, of the PQ 2019 international team of curators; and of scenography and performance design publication platforms and journals.

Historiographies, Theories, and Collaborations

Scenography is a crucially collaborative and complex practice and an arena of different professions, disciplines, art forms and discourses. Focusing on historiographic, theoretical and often collaborative projects, the thematic block Historiographies, Theories, and Collaborations contains two panel discussions: How can we write about historiography and memory of theatrical space in Latin America, organized and moderated by José Luis Ferrera (ES), and Found Space Turned into the Theatre: The Fruit of Collaboration of the Architect, the Technician and the Performer, organized and moderated by Pavlo Bossy (CA). The thematic block also involves a session with papers introducing historiographic and theoretical research by Kym Bird and Sharmylae Taffe-Fletcher (CA); Hubert Eckart, Franziska Ritter, and Bri Newesely (DE); and Jennifer Low and Marcella Munson (US).

Collaboration in Scenography

Collaborative nature is specifically addressed in Collaboration in Scenography containing two discussion panels. In Gaps in Communication within Creative Team, organized and moderated by Simona Rybáková (CZ), practising theatre artists Sabine Snijders (NL), Juli Balázs (HU) and Jan Kodet (CZ) will speak about benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary communication within the performance-making. Life Underground: Installation Art Fabrication As Scenography, organized and moderated by Taylor Black (US), will discuss “art fabricators” in the New York and global art markets, as well as intersections between fine art and scenography.


Costume is an area of impressively growing critical attention. The panel discussion Costume as Scenography?, organized by Rachel Hahn (UK), questions the idea that costume should be subsumed under the umbrella term of scenography. Costume and Collaboration: Designers and Makers, a discussion panel conceived by PQ 2019 Jury member Sofia Pantouvaki (GR/FI), brings into attention the materiality of costume; What Can Costume Design Do and Be?, organized and moderated by Rosane Muniz, will introduce new international research projects focusing on the agency of costume.

Scenography and Politics

In Scenography and Politics, artists, critics and other cultural creatives will discuss the ways scenography can respond to political crises. This thematic block also contains the discussion panels Speculative Scenographics for Spatial Justice, organized and moderated by Rachel Hann, and Collaborative Scenographic Practices for Restorative Justice in Virtual Reality, organized and moderated Paul Cegys (CA). This thematic block will be concluded by a three-paper session in which Mia David (RS); Sabrina Notarfrancisco (US/DE); Siobhán O’Gorman (UK) address the relationship between scenography and politics.

New Media

The thematic section on New Media, split in two days, will connect past interplays between scenography and most advanced technologies with the present in a presentation of a research project Laterna magika by Andrea Průchová (CZ), and discussion panels Digital Theater after Josef Svoboda, organized and moderated by Christian Ziegler (DE), with guests Pavel Smetana (CZ), and Mark Coniglio (US), and Devising and Designing Theatre, Live Performance, and Storytelling with Haptic Feedback in Virtual Reality, organized by Alex Oliszewski (US), in collaboration with Vita Berezina-Blackburn (US) & Daniel Fine (US). This thematic block also contains a session of papers by Marcello Callas (BR); and Tessa Rixon (AU).


A crucial aspect of discussing what scenography is and could be considers pedagogical strategies. The thematic section Pedagogy includes two major discussion panels: Conversations About Teaching of Performance Design: Views, Perspectives, and Evolutions, organized and moderated by Daniela Portillo (CL) in collaboration with Catalina Devia Garrido and Cristóbal Ramos Pérez, that will look at the different ways scenography has been taught internationally. What Has the Academy Done To or For Scenography, organized and moderated by Joslin McKinney (UK) will explore the relationships between academy and professional practice.

Scenography of Sound

We will also discuss Scenography of Sound through a session of papers by Felipe Duarte, Felipe Sanchez (DE/CO); Larissa Elias (BR), and Nathalie Harb (LB). Scenography Across Art Froms adresses the inspirations, influences and collaborations with other artistic disciplines in a session of papers by Eduardo Andrade (BR); Michael Smalley (AU); and Tanja Lacko (HR). This thematic block also contains two additional panel discussions, one of them contributed by the Ephemera Collective: Miljana Zeković & Višnja Žugić (RS) with Jorge Palinhos (PT), Attila Antal (HU) & Eric V. Dela Cruz (PH), Angelika Höckner and Gerald Moser (AT) and Bruno-Pierre Houle (CA), Yitai Chung (TW). Anna Wołosz-Sosnowska (PL) has organized a discussion panel on Theatre, Performance, and Comics.

Scenography, Architecture, and Urban Space

The crossovers between scenography, architecture and space will be explored in the thematic section Scenography, Architecture, and Urban Space through a session of papers by Ermina Apostolaki, Miranda Vatikioti (GR), Francesco Fassone (IT); Shauna Janssen and Kristine Samson (CA); and Noeline Kavanagh (IE), and four panel discussions, including a moderated discussion with featured projects of the Architecture Exhibition.

Expanding Scenography

In the recent years, our understanding of scenography has exceeded the limits of a theatre production. This is reflected by papers in the thematic block on Expanding Scenography by Tanja Beer (AU); Renato Bolelli Rebouças (BR); Eric Villanueva Dela Cruz, Lawyn Cruz, Tuxqs Rutaquio, Magda De Leon (PH); and Mona Magalhaes (BR).

Transforming Scenography

Transforming Scenography embodies one of PQ Talks’ aim: to envision and dream about what scenography could be in the future. This discussion is joined by Sara Franqueira (PT), M’ck McKeague (AU), and Rachel Hahn.

Scenography and Memory

Our final thematic block will explore Scenography and Memory through a session of papers by Tamara Figueroa AS (CL); Nevena Mrdjenovic (AU); Michiko Skinner Kitayama, Erik Lawson (US/JP); and Nattaporn Thapparat and Nicha Kiatfuengfoor (TH).

Daily schedule to  download.