“SharedSpace Switzerland” is Switzerland’s preliminary programme in the run-up to the Prague Quadrennial 2015. It is organised by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia in collaboration with Festival Antigel in Geneva, trans4mator and HAUS FÜR KUNST URI.
The Prague Quadrennial 2015 presents scenography as a transdisciplinary field in which elements of the performative and visual arts, architecture and cultural studies are combined with given social and environmental factors.

The SharedSpace Switzerland programme is dedicated to contemporary scenography and, specifically, to the role of scenography when it comes to sharing space. The events involved provide opportunities for visitors to experience what can be achieved by contemporary scenography, as well as for encounters and for in-depth exchange among specialists. Dance and music performances at Festival Antigel in Geneva, for example, aim to demonstrate how precise scenographic intervention can define spaces, enabling them to be experienced in new and unexpected ways. At special theme days under the heading of performaCITY Basel, the notion of public space as scenographic space is explored by means of performances, roundtable discussions and lectures.

Between January and August 2015, scenographic topics will be subject to in-depth debates among experts from various scenography-related disciplines at four “Salons scénographiques”. The main focus will be on the question of how and to what extent someone’s professional background influences their understanding of scenography. Does scenographic intervention mean the same for somebody from the performative arts as it does for someone from the visual arts or the fields of architecture or cultural studies? What common ground is there, and in what ways do their concepts differ?

From 13 June to 23 August 2015, HAUS FÜR KUNST URI in Altdorf will provide a stage for the Swiss artist duo Lang/Baumann.

The Prague Quadrennial 2015 is scheduled for 18 to 28 June. It offers an attractive and internationally oriented programme comprising exhibitions, performances and events in various formats, dedicated to scenography in all its diversity. Switzerland will be represented with the programme “Under the Tail of the Horse” in the Countries and Regions section and with “Räumliche Verhandlungspraxis” (spatial negotiation practice) in the Students section.

SharedSpace Switzerland is part of the preliminary programme initiated by the Prague Quadrennial 2015 called SharedSpace: Music Weather Politics 2013 -16, which has been jointly set up by 13 European institutions and provides for events in 11 different countries.

The Prague Quadrennial (PQ) 2015 met with a massive and enthusiastic audience response, registering over 180,000 admissions during the eleven-day exhibition period.

68 countries overall took part in the presentations for the Section of Countries and Regions and the Student Section. Other positions were shown at the Objects und Makers exhibitions curated by PQ, and over 600 events were held, some of them in the Talks und Tribes category. www.pq.cz/en/program/intro

Switzerland’s contribution to PQ’15 was entitled Under the Tail of the Horse, encompassing the three components Wenceslas Line, Podoli Wave and Reception. With the Wenceslas Line installation by Markus Lüscher / Erik Steinbrecher on Wenceslas Square, the performance Podoli Wave curated by Eric Linder at the Podoli swimming stadium, and Reception at Clam Gallas Palace, the festival centre, Switzerland displayed three impressive and widely noted positions. Reception was the Swiss information point and site of the photo essays by Iren Stehli and Rishabh Kaul, who had accompanied the scenographic interventions of the Swiss contribution on Wenceslas Square and in the Podoli swimming stadium with their cameras. ŠUNKA BUCH from Erik Steinbrecher was published on the Occasion of his collaboration to Under the Tail of the Horse.

The official opening of the Swiss country programme on 18 June was conducted in the form of a festive excursion leading around one hundred invited guests by tram and on foot from Wenceslas Square to the performance at Podoli swimming stadium.

Switzerland’s country programme was well received by the public and, moreover, won a PQ’15 award:

The Gold Medal PQ 2015 for Best Performance Design Photo went to Iren Stehli for her photo essay on the Wenceslas Line installation.

Besides the contributions Under the Tail of the Horse in the Section of Countries and Regions and Reflexion als räumliche Praxis (reflexion as spatial practice; Bachelor in Scenography course at the Zurich University of the Arts) in the Student Section, Switzerland was well represented outside the country contribution category, too, with:

Massimo Furlan (Blue Tired Heroes www.pq.cz/en/galleries/2015/7/8/tribes-blue-tired-heroes and www.pq.cz/en/news/2015/6/28/blue-tired-heroes-streets-prague

Stefan Kaegi (lecture within the framework of Talks www.pq.cz/en/news/2015/6/24/pq-talks-performative-screen-iii-rimini-protokoll

Dominic Huber (jury member).

Team of curators on behalf of Pro Helvetia: Eric Linder, musician, artistic director of Festival Antigel; Markus Lüscher, architect; Imanuel Schipper, dramaturgue and cultural studies specialist; Barbara Zürcher, director and curator at Haus für Kunst Uri

More photos and information

Opening of the Swiss contribution «Under the Tail of the Horse»

Wenceslas Line

Podoli Wave Performance



  • wenceslas line_©iren stehli

  • wenceslas line_©iren stehli

  • wenceslas line_©iren stehli

  • wenceslas line_©iren stehli

  • Podoli wet paradise_©rishabh kaul

  • Podoli wet paradise_©rishabh kaul

  • Podoli wet paradise_©rishabh kaul

  • Podoli wet paradise_©rishabh kaul

  • Podoli wet paradise_©rishabh kaul

  • Opening Swiss Contribution

  • Die Gold Medal PQ 2015 for Best Performance Design Photo ging an Iren Stehli für den Photoessay zur Installation Wenceslas Line.

The concept of “scenography” originated in the theatre, but it no longer refers to classical stage design alone. Nowadays, the staging of space occurs throughout the public sphere: from the political speech to the shopping centre, from the virtual worlds of video games to prison cells and entire villages. This issue of Passages shines a spotlight on the various aspects and applications of an art form that, although it is still not very well-known, can be found nearly everywhere.