• Jo Briscoe: Prague Quadrennial of performance space and design

Ingenuity under pressure: Australian Student exhibition at PQ19

Australia was well represented at the Prague Quadrennial in 2019, with exhibitions in both the Countries and Regions and the Student sections, as well as several speakers and professional and academic attendees. The themes of PQ19 were Imagination.  Transformation.  Memory. 

For the first time ever, the Australian Student Exhibition at PQ was a collaborative undertaking between VCA, WAAPA and NIDA.  It required a good dose of imagination and optimistic persistence to develop a collaborative framework across three schools, three different cohorts of students, and three sets of timelines.  A collaborative outcome was not only a much improved cohesive presentation on site in Prague, it also led to greater opportunities for engagement and dialogue between the students.

More imagination was required when some of our shipping failed to arrive on time for the bump in of our exhibition.  We agreed that it was best to have a late installation of the intended outcome rather than a haphazard temporary solution.  However the elements already on site needed to be accommodated and kept safe.

The students created a wonderful temporary installation – ShippingWrecked.  Made of shipping materials to protect the existing elements, and with the addition of entertaining and humorous signage, we were the talk of PQ for several days, with many observers suggesting our solution was so entertaining and ingenious we should keep it!

Images: Jo Briscoe and Bo Johnson

Transformation took place once the shipping arrived and the full exhibition was installed.  The most significant transformation, however, is of the students – the input to their creative practice at this early stage of their careers will have an impact on them throughout the remainder of their training and beyond.  The crucible of undertaking a collaborative design process has definitely informed their practice, as has the opportunity to enter a dialogue with those interacting directly with their work.  The memories will no doubt be with the students throughout the remainder of their course and into their professional careers.

Beyond Content and Casting: Trans Approaches to Design for Performance

Trans people have a long history of creating and reshaping spaces, yet the theatre and the broader arts community usually focuses on representation in terms of content and casting.

Australian set and costume designer M’ck McKeague presented on this topic at PQ19, exploring the possibilities of transformational approaches to design for performance from a distinctly queer and trans perspective.

This is a distinctly new area of research and thinking and so VCA are delighted to have M’ck present this new research again on October 23rd at 6.30 pm.  VCA have extended the invitation to interested APDG members.  To book tickets click here.

Taboo by M’ck McKeague
Photo credit: Nathan Stoneham

© | All content copyright APDG or its respective owners