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Swiss Contribution to the Prague Quadrennial for Scenography

The Prague Quadrennial is the most important international platform for scenography. In the run-up to the 2015 exhibition, national event programmes on scenographic themes will be held in the partner countries for the first time. Switzerland, as one of these nations, is launching a journey of discovery into the world of scenography with its «SharedSpace Switzerland» programme. The kick-off will be on 7 February at the Antigel festival in Geneva, where greenhouses, swimming pools and bus depots are temporarily converted into venues for music and dance performances. Further events will follow in Basel and Altdorf.

The Prague Quadrennial, founded in 1967 and held once every four years since then, explores scenography in all its variety, ranging from light installations, costume and sound design to projects in public space. The centrepiece of the 13th Quadrennial, which opens on 17 June 2015, is an exhibition involving artists from over 60 countries. Responsibility for the organisation of Switzerland’s contribution lies with the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. It has commissioned a team consisting of the following five curators with the design of the official Swiss programme for Prague: Muriel Gerstner (stage designer), Eric Linder (musician, curator), Markus Lüscher (architect), Imanuel Schipper (dramaturgue, curator, specialist in performance and cultural studies) and Barbara Zürcher (director/curator at Haus für Kunst Uri).

Preliminary programme «SharedSpace Switzerland» in Geneva, Basel and Altdorf

In the run-up to 2015, the Prague Quadrennial has launched the idea of national preliminary programmes. The aim is to provide insights into current trends in scenography to a larger public and facilitate exchange among specialists. Switzerland, with its series of events entitled «SharedSpace Switzerland», is one of 12 countries to set up such a programme. The kick-off will be on 7 February 2014 at the Antigel festival in Geneva. In June 2014 performaCITY theme days is staging events at various venues in Basel. A year later, in June 2015, Haus für Kunst Uri will be transformed into a scenography-related «Gesamtkunstwerk» (total work of art) in reflection of the simultaneously held 2015 Prague Quadrennial. A support programme will provide for in-depth discussions of scenographic issues in the form of five «Salon» debates. The common theme in all these events is the sharing of space. How does a bus depot turn into a venue for dance performances? What do cities tell us about the history and present state of society? And how do these stories influence our future? What does a stage setting reveal? Does the scenography of an exhibition impact our perception of the art shown? What makes a place hospitable? «SharedSpace Switzerland» offers answers and raises new questions and will, perhaps, prompt some people to pay a visit to Prague in June 2015.

Further information at: www.sharedspace.ch/en

Media Relations: Sabina Schwarzenbach, Head of Communication,

Tel. +41 44 267 39, Fax +41 44 267 71 06, sschwarzenbach@prohelvetia.ch

Media Release Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, 29.1.2014