I am thrilled to be back wrestling with all that curating the Australian exhibition of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Space and Design (PQ) entails and have just been in Prague for the Porous Borders Symposium to kick start the preparations. With less than two years until the big event the symposium brought together curators, academics, artists and designers from around the world (representatives of 51 countries out of the 80 involved attended) and touched on the themes of migration, forced migration, and the ability of creative enterprise, imagination and collaboration to transcend both the political borders that may be constructed to divide and the less artificial ones of community, cultural heritage and belief. While the organisers of PQ have announced that there will be no overarching theme for either the International or Student competitions it is this idea of shared space (a familiar theme for regular attendees PQ) that we are being asked to broadly consider in our approaches.
This will be the fiftieth year that PQ will showcase the best and most innovative performance design from around the world and I am certain it won’t disappoint. As usual it will be an enormous program for the visitor and one with many opportunities for makers. At the end of November PQ opened the call for proposals to the PQ curated program and alongside the countries and student exhibitions this program will proffer numerous ways for artists, performers and especially designers to be involved. You are encouraged to propose works that are site specific; that use rhythm repetition and could interestingly play alongside other works; works that would work as disrupters or flourish by being disrupted. There is a collaborative sound and light project in the making and an expanded workshop program embracing not just emerging artists and students but masterclasses for the more experienced.
As part of the Architecture section there is a call out for short video works documenting new theatre and performance spaces that have been opened in the past five years and I am very interested in hearing from you if you have been involved in such a project. I am interested in the big kids (new or completely refurbished arts centres and theatres) but also the unusual spots that live performance builds, takes over and activates. It could be a performance in a pub, a tent erected in the desert or the night you invited fifty people to your lounge room and performed ‘Ubu’). Information can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on all these events can be found on the pq.cz/en website and we will keep you updated on Australian activity at pqau.com.au or you can join the PQAU17 facebook group. I look forward to seeing many APDG members there.