Cyprus and Prague Quadrennial
Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space was established in 1967 to bring the best of design for performance, scenography, and theatre architecture to the front line of cultural activities to be experienced by professional and emerging artists as well as the general public. The quadrennial exhibitions, festivals, and educational programs act as a global catalyst of creative progress by encouraging experimentation, networking, innovation, and future collaborations. PQ aims to honour, empower and celebrate the work of designers, artists and architects while inspiring and educating audiences, who are the most essential element of any live performance.
THOC's first participation in the PQ goes back to 1991 and the Organisation has been responsible for Cyprus's national exhibit ever since, with remarkable feedback from both visitors and experts.
Starting from the most recent participation, we present the history of the Cypriot pavilions between 1991 - 2019.
Cyprus Theatre Organisation (THOC) participates with three different projects reflecting the thematic areas of interest of the Quadrennial: Imagination, Transformation, and Memory.
Cyprus’ Participation in PQ Section ‘Countries and Regions’
“Status Quo In Mirage” A large-scale installation
Status Quo In Mirage.
Artists: Elena Kotasvili-Alexis Vayianos
Curator: Marina Maleni
Special thanks to:
Georgios Koukoumas, Stavros Tartaris, Light Design
George Christofi, Dimitris Spyrou, Sound Design
Maria Petridi, Theoretical collaborator
Sofronis Efstathiou, Technical Support
Nicolas Petrides, Architect
Christos Georgiou, 3-dimensional design: Christos Georgiou
Stella Ivi Nicolaidou, Photographer
Artist: Andy Bargilly,
Designed for Seven against Thebes, by Aeschylus, directed by Varnavas Kyriazis, produced by Cyprus Theatre Organization in 2001
“The set I designed for Aeschylus’ Seven Against Thebes project, was in itself a visual proposal that consisted of many elements linked to the myth and, especially, to its tragic end. The myth itself imposed the use of hard, military material; a fact that led me to the use of burned and rusty iron as the dominant material for the whole set.”- Andy Bargilly
Andy Bargilly has been influential to the theatre in Cyprus in many different ways not only as a leading scenographer but also serving, over the years, in many significant public posts related to the Arts. Not only he designed more than 130 theatre, ballet, opera, cinema and television productions in many Countries, but was instrumental in initiating the Cyprus National participation in Prague Quadrennial Exhibition of Theatre Architecture and Design in 1991, which continues to this day. He was one of the first to introduce the minimalistic approach in stage design in Cyprus and the technique of black-light theatre. Bargilly has guided many young scenographers in achieving great goals in Cyprus and abroad and has been a key figure in the making of the Cyprus Theatre Museum and new THOC premises. The London daily, Guardian, in its electronic edition of 31st January 2015, included his work for the Phoenician Women among the 16 most stunning set designs world-wide for the period 1990-2005. As famous Greek Theatre Critic Costas Georgousopoulos wrote “Bargilly is a poet because the manner in which he dressed and built on stage the various faces of theatre timelessness, avoided photographing reality, or recording what is familiar, but often took leaps into imagination, the magic of colour and the harmony of rhythms.” Ralph Koltai, the famous British stage designer, stated that Bargilly “is a major contributor to the Art of Theatre, with a very eloquent, distinctive vision.”
Εmergence – Walls and Barriers, Installations
The exhibition is the result of the creative exchange between 22 international artists who participated at the “Walls and Barriers Nicosia workshop” in April 2019.
EMERGENCE From Shared Experience to New Creativity [Living Heritage/Reframing Memory]
Collaboration between Norway, Cyprus, Latvia under the Emergence Project, led by Prague Quadrennial funded by the European Union Prague Quadrennial, together with seven partner organizations launches a new 3-year-long international project dedicated to share European recent and not-so-recent cultural, and inevitably political, heritage.
The project is focused on performance design in the context of our European heritage.,
Project’s participants experienced the atmosphere of places with “porous borders” - from the city of Nicosia divided by a militarized border, through thin frontier zone in-between Ukraine and Russia, to problematic Brexit.
Arts & Theatre Institute / Prague Quadrennial (Czech Republic), The Victoria & Albert Museum (United Kingdom), IZOLYATSIA (Ukraine), Institut Teatralny (Poland), Cyprus Theatre Organisation / THOC (Cyprus), Norwegian Theatre Academy / Østfold University College (Norway), New Theatre Institute of Latvia (Latvia) and the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Taiwan).
Resija Aditaja, Anna Eglite, Imge Haseoglu, Toms Jansons, Ingvild Isaksen, Petros Kourtellaris, Pauline Kalnina, Nefeli Kentoni, Petros Lappas, Pia Lindstad, Manakos, Refia Ors, Kristina Rezvohh, Stavri Papadopoulou
Workshop led by:
Yiannis Toumazis, Sosse Eskidjian, Marina Maleni
Other Participants / Contributors to the Cyprus Workshop:
Inga Marija Rita Aleknaviciute, Serge Von Arx, Durga Bishwokarma, Patricia Canellis, Kjartan Fønstelien, Eva Jaunzemis, Nurtane Karagil, Gundega Laivinia, Christian Sørhaug, Andreas Thiele
Special thanks to:
NiMAC, Aysu Arsoy, Panikos Chrysanthou, Petros Charalambous, Toula Liasi, Anna Marangou, Xenios Symeonides, Anna Tsiarta
Under the theme “Creatures”, the official Cypriot participation was designed by set & costume designer Elena Katsouri together with light designer Georgios Koukoumas. The two designers joined forces to create an installation allowing visitors to literally take matters in their own hands and illuminate what is there to be discovered.
“Creatures” was an interactive installation underlining the importance of taking a step towards humanity, by returning to basics and looking within and seeking one’s ‘space’ through imagination, curated by Dramaturg Marina Maleni.
Inspired by PQ'15’s theme centered on Music Weather Politics, Creatures refers to Imaginary creatures in theatre: REdirecting us back to basics, REintroducing fantasy and imagination as a means of REdiscovering, REthinking and REshaping our space. It explores three areas of interest:
- Our understanding of Space, in which we all design, create and exist, and Space as the environment that we all affect
- The inventive break-up of exhibition space into many thematic parts and venues within the city of Prague
- The political, economic and environmental conditions affecting all of humanity, and especially the world of theatre
The two productions are based on imaginary, otherworldly creatures, offering solutions to humans facing crises: one, Kali-Kantzar and Co, by contemporary writers Lea Maleni, Christina Constantinou and Valentinos Kokkinos, and one, The Birds, by the greatest representative of ancient Greek comedy, Aristophanes, both of which were designed by Elena Katsouri and Georgios Koukoumas:
Additionally, the pavilion hosted scenography works created for two of THOC’s theatre productions by Margarita Papatheodoulou and George Chiotis (“The Birds”) and Thelma Kasoulidou (“Kali-Kantzar and Co”).
Under the title “SHIFTING Time and Space”, Cyprus exhibited scenography works that were created between 2008-2011, including selected works of Angelos Angeli, Antonis Antoniou, Stavros Antonopoulos, Andy Bargilly, Lakis Genethlis, Eduardos Georgiou, Georgios Koukoumas, Melita Kouta, Carl Krul, Phanos Kyriakou, Lea Maleni, Stylianos Pelekanou, Pavlos Sideris, Karolina Spyrou Harris Kafkarides, Elena Katsouri Apothiki, Fresh Target Theatre Ensemble, Mitos Center of Performing Arts, Open Arts and Paravan Proactions were also represented Cyprus at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design 2011.
Harris Kafkarides and Melita Kouta designed the pavilion.
Curatorial team: Marina Maleni, Harris Kafkarides, Melita Kouta
Light designer: Giorgos Koukoumas
In 2007 the focus was given to the new generation of Cypriot set designers with professional activity between the years 2004 - 2007, under the theme "Θ". The pavilion, designed by Andy Bargilly included works of Maria Chatzikleanthous, Eduardos Georgiou, Elena Katsouri, Konstantinos Kounnis, Mariza Bargilly, Harris Kafkaridis, Melita Kouta, Marina Nikolaidou and George Tsappas,
Curator: Marina Maleni
Artists: Andy Bargilly, Harris Kafkarides, Stefanos Athienitis and Stavros Antonopoulos. This year Harris Kafkarides was awarded with an honorary diploma for set design.
Curator: Andy Bargilly Commissaries: Maria Efstathiou, Alexia Chatzinikolaou
Artist: Stavros Antonopoulos. Commissaries: Gloria Kassianidou, Andy Bargilly.
Artists: Andy Bargilly and Edward Georgiou. Commissary: Gloria Kassianidou.
PQ 1991 | The first Cypriot participation at PQ.
Artist: Angelos Angelis. Commissary: Andy Bargily.