Performance Design takes centre stage at AUT

13 Aug, 2010
Sean Curham, Exploding balloon work, performed at GLITCH, St Paul St Gallery, 2009

Performance design will be centre stage at AUT University from August 13-28, when practitioners from across the country gather to generate and discuss New Zealand’s contribution to the 2011 Prague Quadrennial: International Exhibition of Performance Design and Space, PQ11. The Quadrennial is held every four years, presenting performance design from more than 70 countries in three categories:  student, national and theatre architecture.

New Zealand Commissioner for the Quadrennial, and Head of Postgraduate Studies (Art & Design) at AUT, Sue Gallagher, has planned a two week programme of events titled LIVE. REPEAT. PLAYBACK. The programme aims to generate discussion, ideas, and directions for the three New Zealand exhibitions - National, Student and Theatre Architecture - participating in PQ11. LIVE. REPEAT. PLAYBACK., held at ST PAUL St Gallery will include performance events, workshops, panel sessions, and exhibitions exploring the emerging paradigms of performance in Aotearoa New Zealand.

LIVE.REPEAT.PLAYBACK. includes an exhibition of student works that have made it to the final selection process for Prague.  Performance, visual arts and spatial design students from around New Zealand will present their work at ST PAUL St Gallery, seeking to convince Gallagher and Student Exhibition curator Stuart Foster that their work has something new to say.  “We will choose work that has a unique voice,” says Gallagher.  “And we will be looking for that quality in the national exhibits as well.”

The National Exhibition will be collaboration between leading New Zealand artists and designers with curators Sue Gallagher and Tracey Collins, in the expanded field of performance.  It will build on the success of the New Zealand Exhibition for Prague in 2007, BLOW, also curated and designed by Gallagher and Collins. The national exhibit will be a live archive that functions as a hybrid space between a designer’s studio, production studio and moving image archive.  

The exhibition structure for PQ11 will be an eight metre high fly tower; during the Quadrennial, artists will constantly rebuild the space by flying their performance exhibitions in and out to the stage space below.  During LIVE.REPEAT.PLAYBACK., a prototype of this structure will be set up in ST PAUL St Gallery so visitors can watch the collaboration in process. Also on show will be the theatre architecture exhibit, which will explore the theme “Performing Space in Oceania”

“If New Zealand wants to participate in the rapidly changing performing arts, media arts and creative industries, then we must develop collective and current expertise.  The Quadrennial project is an important way of doing this,” says Gallagher.  She also hopes the new Masters of Performing and Media Arts offered at AUT from 2011 will significantly contribute to the emerging paradigms of performance and media arts through critical enquiry and innovative performative practice in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally.

When:  13-28 August 2010
Where:  Galleries 1 & 2, ST PAUL St Gallery, AUT University, 40 St Paul St, Auckland CBD
For more information:  Sue Gallagher, ph 021 240 6646,

LIVE. REPEAT. PLAYBACK. is made possible through the support of ST PAUL St Gallery and CoLab at AUT University

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