ARTISTIC CONCEPT

RARE

Markéta Fantová, PQ Artistic Director

We live in unprecedented times, when the forms of art are changing. In unparalleled ways, the epidemic has affected the entire world, with different societies and communities impacted differently to a degree not yet fully acknowledged. Much of our activity and contact have moved online, changing our social and cultural habits, redefining our expectations and outlooks, and forcing us to re-evaluate and rethink our priorities. People have creatively striven to overcome the difficulties, restrictions, distancing, frustrations, and even traumas brought into their lives. Our understanding of physical distance has shifted. Sharing of spaces and ideas have moved into the virtual world. More so than ever, many of us realized the vital importance of live cultural events, their meaning for our humanity, for the cultivation of our social lives, and also how invaluable these experiences are. 

The crisis has made us reflect on our human vulnerability, reconsider the significance of distance, of things close to us and far away, our relationship to the immediate environment and to the environment of the world, and our own mobility – how necessary it is at times and impossible at others. As theatre buildings stand empty and public events are restricted by safety measures, many creators have sought for new possibilities of practicing and experiencing creativity, art, and the contact between humans. It is on the human level that immediate encounters between people have become rare, even unique. It is on this human, personal, simple, vulnerable, intimate level that art is born. 

For PQ 2023, we would like to invite you to share the RARE: art springing out of ideas, materials, artistic approaches, and design practices that connect to the human level from within your environment, with its genius loci and unique situation. In the current state of precarity, uncertainty, and epochal change, we call on performance designers, scenographers, and performance practitioners to use their RARE imagination and creativity to help us envision what the world and theatre could look like in the post-pandemic future.

This is a unique moment to use our art, imagination, creativity, and ability to create environments that others may come to enjoy in the future – at PQ 2023 and beyond. Since we have all been deprived of meeting in the same physical space for quite some time, let’s turn PQ 2023 into the RARE opportunity to move from virtual spaces into specific places offering an in-person experience, in which physicality and materiality of scenography become central: where your senses and predicaments will be taken into account. 

Since 1967, the face of PQ has been (re)shaped by artists from more than 100 countries and their visions of performance design/scenography. Prague Quadrennial continues to be ever more inclusive and welcoming – to its long-term participants and their new creations, as well as to creators, artists, projects, and initiatives that haven’t yet had the chance to join. We hope to turn PQ 2023 into an event of unique, honest, open, and friendly dialogue over the crucial issues of our times and the place of performance design/scenography in it. We expect to challenge established habits, recognize the breadth and diversity of creative knowledge and practice of performance design/scenography. 

Date: 8-18 June 2023

Main location: Pražská Tržnice

Secondary location: DAMU

Other possible locations: National Gallery Prague