We are firmly convinced that what gives meaning to art is its capacity to interpret and influence the world. Based on this premise, we see Catalonia’s participation at the Prague Quadrennial 2019 as a new opportunity to look at, question and express ourselves and share experiences through the performing arts, and specifically scenography.
Three key points have guided us on this journey. The first, working with creative teams made up by scenographers but also other performing arts professionals. Because for us scenography is not an isolated art but one that is only possible in the meeting between diverse viewpoints, languages and voices. A field of creation with limits that are constantly questioned and infinitely permeable in terms of languages, processes, tools and concepts. These characteristics have not only led us to create multidisciplinary teams but also to target heterogeneous and non-specialised audiences.
The second point has to do with formats. Probably the two best known and attractive sections of the quadrennial are the Countries and Regions, and Students exhibitions. But, at the same time, as exhibitions within the field of the performing arts and therefore the living arts, they are a great challenge for participants. What is the point of showing a scenography without showing the live action for which it was designed? We want to avoid exhibiting scenography as a set of creative pieces where the visitor merely looks at them dispassionately. We seek to create immersive installations where the public, through the action and participation, experience the content on show in a vibrant, sensorial and reflective way.
The last key point that defines Catalonia’s presence in the 10th PQ is the social and political situation of our country. The exceptional context we were left in by the events of 1 October 2017 has since marked all the contexts of life in Catalonia. Spain has enjoyed democracy for almost 45 years but the persecution and imprisonment of politicians, activists and artists for their political ideas demands a profound review to understand where we really are and the future we want. In the world of art we must contribute, as we said at the start, to the world where we live, to interpreting the events around us and influencing through emotion or reflection, with cries, with shouts, with laughter or tears.
The PQ19 offers the possibility of participating in many ways thanks to its many sections. This year Catalonia presents two exhibitions, Prospective Actions in the Countries and Regions section and Theáomai in the Students section and a talk called Catalonia. Art and Democracy in the PQtalks section. We also support the show When the Walls Talk by Núria Vila and Laura Clos “Closca”.
Marta Rafa i Bibiana Puigdefàbregas
Commissioners of PQ19_Catalonia