The Swiss contribution to the 13th Prague Quadrennial for scenography is due to be opened today by Pro Helvetia. The overarching topic for the projects from roughly 60 countries is «Shared Space», with a focus on temporary and innovative use of public space. Switzerland’s installation on Wenceslas Square in the heart of Prague makes for a spectacular shift of perspective. And in the legendary Podolí swimming stadium, visitors are invited to enter the pool themselves as part of a performance-cum-concert featuring the Swiss bands Sunfast and OY, giving rise to a unique spatial experience.
The Prague Quadrennial is the most important platform for scenography worldwide. Its 13th edition opens today and is scheduled to run until 28 June 2015. «Shared Space» is the motto of this year’s event, which aims to explore how public space can be used in highly diverse temporary and innovative ways.
Pro Helvetia has been assigned responsibility for the Swiss contribution to the quadrennial for the first time. The foremost component of Switzerland’s presence is an installation on Wenceslas Square developed by Markus Lüscher and Erik Steinbrecher – a walkable construction, several hundred metres long, that gives visitors a new perspective of the historic square in the heart of the Czech capital. The overall title of Switzerland’s contribution is «Under the Tail of the Horse». This is an allusion to the equestrian statue of St. Wenceslas, which gave the square its name and is also a favourite meeting place for locals in Prague.
Acoustic waves in an indoor pool
A counterpoint to the spatial/architectural intervention will be set tonight in the form of a performance incorporating a concert at Podolí swimming stadium in the outskirts of Prague. Its creator is Eric Linder, director of Antigel festival in Geneva. Two Swiss bands, Sunfast and OY, will make waves in the impressive indoor pool that has a roof in the shape of a wave itself. Visitors are invited to dip into the pool and so share not only the acoustic waves, but also the full spatial experience.
The third component of the Swiss contribution is a compilation of photographs by Iren Stehli and Rishabh Kaul at Clam Gallas Palace, the festival centre. The pictures are reflective and documentary in nature, and aim to generate interest in Switzerland’s projects among the festival audience.
Not just in Prague – at Haus für Kunst in Uri too
For all those who can’t make it to Prague, Haus für Kunst in Uri is currently showing a walkabout installation – also part of the Swiss contribution – by the artist duo Lang/Baumann from Burgdorf. The duo’s work has the effect of blurring boundaries between installation art, sculpture, painting and architecture, thereby eluding any precise categorisation. This is entirely in the spirit of the Prague Quadrennial.
Further information as well as high resolution press images at www.prohelvetia.ch
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Media Release of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, 18.06.2015