World Tour: Prague Quadrennial

Held in the beautiful city of Prague, Czech Republic, the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space is a the world´s largest performance design event –  showcasing work by contemporary performance designers around the world, this years festival saw 62 countries participating.

The scale of PQ was far larger then I could ever have imagined and included: National and Student Exhibits in both performance, design, architecture, light and sound across a range of venues throughout the city of Prague.  As well as the range of exhibits, PQ hosted a range of fascinating speakers and a wide range of performances.

It was quite a novelty to be at an event where I was surrounded by other performance designers. It is such a rare occurrence that you get to sit in a room with 50 other people who do the same thing as you.  PQ was a great chance to meet and speak with other practitioners from across the world, and great opportunity for me to reflect on my own practice within a global context.  It made me feel very lucky to work in an environment that where there is  great respect and trust between designers and directors.

The biggest lesson I have taken from PQ is to take more risks with my designs, as Olaf Winter said in his lecture  you need to “be prepared to fail publicly”.  This is something that I think I have been less inclined to do, as I learn more about the craft of lighting design.  I think the more I learn “rules” the harder I find it to break them, however after being exposed to so many wonderful ideas in the past few months, I am ready to embark on some new adventures in my work.

In an attempt to sum up some of the things I seen and done at PQ I have made a  list of some things that inspired me.

Es Devlin  – giant man design for Take That

Kirsten Dehlholm  – director, artistic director Hotel Pro Forma

Felice Ross – discussion about lighting reflections and “painting the air”

Hans Peter Kuhn – sound / installation artist from Berlin

Josef Svoboda – new film about the life and work of this great scenic designer

Mark Freidberg – disucssion of designer for film

Olaf Winter  – lighting colour temperature

Numen/ for use – (part of the Croatia exhibit)

Photos Selection of Exhibits