Prague, 13th June 2023 – On Tuesday 13 June, the Prague Quadrennial of Performance
Design and Space 2023 presented the exhibitions and projects awarded by the PQ Jury
at its 15th edition. The prestigious Golden Triga, given at every edition to one selected
installation within the Exhibition of Countries and Regions and the Student
Exhibition, was awarded to Cyprus and their installation Spectators in a Ghost City.
The awards travel to numerous continents of the world, to Europe, Asia and to both
North and South Americas. The festival welcomed nearly one hundred creative and
curatorial teams from 59 countries and regions within the two main exhibitions; in
total PQ 2023 hosted around 2,000 artists.
Golden Triga goes to Cyprus
At this year’s 15th Prague Quadrennial, the esteemed main award Golden Triga goes to the artists
from Cyprus and their installation Spectators in a Ghost City. A minimalistic exhibit aims
to mediate conflict and trauma of Famagusta, abandoned and fenced off for forty-six years, as a result
of the Turkish military invasion. The team, co-led by the designer Melita Couta and the curator Marina
Maleni, introduce the concept of “reverse scenography”, where a real place becomes a dramatised
scene. The exhibit, using real footage, ruins exhumed from the city’s past, and installed in a crossdiscipline manner, merge the real and the imaginary, anxiety and – perhaps – hope.
Best Student Exhibition: world in constant mutation and disequilibrium
The author of the Lebanese installation Puzzles, awarded as the Best Student Exhibition,
is Mara Ingea, a graduate of the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre at DAMU in Prague.
The work reflects the recent and contemporary history of her home city of Beirut. Through material
assemblage and clear-cut mechanisms, she expresses the chaos and tragic absurdity of certain affairs
in Lebanon over the last four years.
Performance design ever evolving
Capturing directions of performance design and space once every four years since 1967, the Prague
Quadrennial opened on Wednesday 7 June for the fifteenth time and unveiled nearly one hundred
original artworks within the main exhibitions, diverting from or insightfully employing traditional
forms of theatre making.
The artistic director Markéta Fantová reflects on the ongoing progress of PQ: “This edition of PQ
reflected the search for new directions in performance design, triggered by the pandemics, as well
as ecological, environmental and socio-economic urgencies. Performative, active environments
welcoming visitors as participants, multi sensorial immersive scenographies that use environment
sensitive materials, and conceptual approaches reaching beyond the space and time of the festival
were some of the most emerging trends.”
In this vein, she appreciates them opening and widening the scenographic form and expression:
“These trends emerge naturally, since each participating country or region within the Exhibition of
Countries and Regions and the Student Exhibition is fully in control of their own message, concept
and work. Thanks to that we can not only enjoy a diverse landscape of ideas and inspiration from
many different countries and cultures, but we can also search for common connecting patterns. One
of those is a definite shift from design consisting of four dominant professions of lighting, set,
costume and sound design to creative work driven by multidisciplinary teams. I consider this an
exciting, freeing and refreshing direction.”
Czech visual artist David Možný, who represented the Czech Republic in the Exhibition of
Countries and Regions, got two awards, including the one for Best Concept.
Markéta Fantová and the General Manager Michaela Buriánková will speak at a PQ Talks
panel, on Friday 4:30 pm, along with their colleagues, about the festival preparations, while
negotiating the potential future.
The exhibition spaces will be open until midnight on Friday, 16 June, both in the Holešovice
Market and the National Gallery. The programme is live with performances in the places of
Prague, talks, live events and music shows until 18 June.
Exhibitions and projects awarded at the 15th edition of the Prague Quadrennial
of Performance Design and Space:
- Golden Triga – CYPRUS: Spectators in a Ghost City
- Best Student Exhibition – LEBANON: Puzzles
- Best Concept in the Exhibition of Countries and Regions – CZECH REPUBLIC: Limbo
- Most Imaginative Concept in the Student Exhibition – SERBIA: Daydreaming
- Best Design in the Exhibition of Countries and Regions – HUNGARY: winterreise.box
- Most Imaginative and Inventive Design in the Student Exhibition – FINLAND: Suo, Silent,
- Best Teamwork in the Exhibition of Countries and Regions – BRAZIL: ENCRUZILHADAS: We
believe in crossroads
- Visionary Teamwork in the Student Exhibition – GEORGIA: The Box
- PQ Jury Award – FRANCE: GUT CITY PUNCH
- Best Publication Award – TERESE LONGVA & LAUREL JAY CARPENTER 10 Together:
Performances By Longva+Carpenter 2010-2020
- Best Performance Space Award – JILL PLANCHE & MHLANGULI GEORGE: Theatre in the
Backyard: Spaces of Immanence, Places of Potentiality
- Visionary Scenographic Strategies in the Exhibition of Countries and Regions – THAILAND:
Theatre to Go
- Responsiveness to Urgencies in the Student Exhibition – POLAND: ASYLUM
- Responsiveness to Urgencies in the Exhibition of Countries and Regions – ARMENIA: I see,
I cannot see
- Intercultural Exchange in the Student Exhibition – PHILIPPINES: Magbigay ayon sa
kakayahan, kumuha batay sa pangangailangan. Give what you can, take what you need.
- Community Activation in the Exhibition of Countries and Regions – SERBIA: Moonshine
- Best Performance in the Student Exhibition – ESTONIA: Lab of Figurative Thought: You Have
Only a Moment
- Volkswagen Award for the Most Sustainable Exhibition – CZECH REPUBLIC: Limbo
- ČT art Award for the Most Socially Sensitive Exhibition – CATALONIA: CROP
- PQ Kids Award – PORTUGAL: Half the minutes
PQ International Jury:
- Asiimwe Deborah Kawe
- D. Chase Angier
- Marianela Boán
- Rosane Muniz
- Serge von Arx
- Sophie Jump
- Sven Jonke
Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space
Since 1967, once every four years, PQ explores the artistic areas of scenography, performance design and space within all
their aspects – from scenic art, costume, lighting and sound design, and performance space architecture to site-adaptive
performance, applied scenography, augmented and virtual realities, technologies like Motion Capture and laser, or costume
as a performance, within the scope of exhibits, installations, architectural concepts, workshops, performances and other live
events. The core of the festival’s idea is to present contemporary performance design as a self-sufficient art form, acting upon
the human imagination through all the senses – sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste. PQ 2023 will host artists from around
a hundred countries in 300+ programme items, making it the most important event of its kind in the world.
Performance design/scenography has evolved substantially and expanded far beyond established theatre conventions.
Models, sketches of designs, and performance photographs still remain excellent resources that map the minds and open
the door to the imagination of their creators. On the other hand, these formats capture only one part of the creative process
and tell us little about the environment, circumstances, emotions, and overall atmosphere of the performance. The one
way to present scenography in its genuine form, comprising all of its parts and including audience participation, is to
experience it live, in performative settings and curatorial environments that create or recreate its operations.
The present-day practice of performance design/scenography is one of the most exciting art forms and creative domains
– in the innovative, fresh and holistic ways of engaging their audiences, participants, and the public.
In 2015 Prague Quadrennial received the EFFE award and was named one of the most innovative festivals in Europe.