Prague, Czech Republic, December 2007

Live in Prague

a festival of British Live Art , Performances, discussions, and workshops
3 – 7 December 2007
Alfred ve dvoře theatre in cooperation with the Live Art Development Agency

Why bring Live Art to Prague by Šárka Havlíčková

In the Czech context new form performing artists are still considered part of some anarchist movement, underground, subversive, or not officially recognized. All artists in the new performance field have to break through a kind of value barrier, what is self-borning from the nineteenth and early twentieth century values were forced on what was called the theatre thanks to for example, issues of national and language consciousness of Central European countries in this historical period. To this day most people in Czech region still interpret the arts informed by values rooted in nineteenth century perceptions. It may seem extreme to say this but thanks to totalitarianism, from 1948 to 1989 freedom of expression was suppressed, pushing wilder creative expression underground and keeping it isolated from the general public and the live art scene developments elsewhere. Seventeen years after the fall of the iron curtain it has become clear that such work is still not on an equal footing with “drama” theatre as an acknowledged, professional and relevant form of artistic expression. 

Prague is fast becoming an international metropolis attracting artists, a perfectly placed city for international exchange (on the fault line between east and west), a breeding ground for young artists' new directions, yet it remains incredibly difficult for their work to break through into recognition as equals to artists in more traditional genres in local and international contexts. People in the Czech Republic have almost no chance to see Live Art, neither audiences nor artists. In spite of the fact that we have a tradition of performance art, is not only considered underground, but even seen as the work of amateurs, and is rarely accepted as a relevant form of artistic expression with. In part, this is because the present generation of artists is still poorly connected to developments and current events in live art in other countries. Moreover, audiences and media have not yet realized the legitimacy of live artists and their enhanced capability to give us interesting viewpoints on how we live.

The main goal of Live in Prague is to offer the frame for the intellectual refreshment, for extension of the public consciousness about Live Art activities and basically to bring possibility to experience new forms of contemporary Live and Performance Art in the city of Prague. 

Šárka Havlíčková, Motus/Alfred ve dvoře theatre


Live in Prague Programme:


MON 3 December 6pm Alfred ve dvoře
LIVE ART IN UK / Lois Keidan 

Live Art is one of the most vibrant and influential of creative spaces in contemporary UK culture: it is a research engine driven by artists who are working across forms, contexts and spaces to open up new artistic models, new languages for the expression of ideas, new ways of activating audiences, and new strategies for intervening in public life.

MON 3 December 8pm
art for a winter sport fans

Watchful waiting, cheerful spectators and eloquent sports commentators will be waiting at the Karlin tunnel entrance under Vitkov. You can watch as the fast paced race takes place. Come and cheer for the champion drivers in wacky vehicles. The race will start on top of the hill and will go through the tunnel. Come watch as the drivers hurl themselves down the hill  at ever increasing speeeeeds

concept: Petr Šourek, vehicle design: Eva Holá, sculptural execution: Monika Havlíčková, Han Morávek, technic: Vladimír Burian, production: Dagmar Kantorková

TUE 4 December 6 pm Alfred ve dvoře
HOW TO HAVE A BODY – NOW / Kira O´Reilly
A lecture on the artist's work

The practice of this artist stems from a fine art background. She employs performance, video, installation and photography with which she considers the body as a site in which narrative threads of the personal, sexual, social and political knot and unknot in shifting permutations. She examines the relationships between bodily interior/exterior spaces as a continuum.

Establishing a relationship with the audience is central to her work. The distance between the artist and the audience is gradually closing bringing artist and audience into immediate and intimate dialogue that is sometimes tender, other times troubling but always revealing.

WED 5 December 8 pm Alfred ve dvoře

The Performance Pack is a ready-made kit containing all the audio-visual material, historical information, key term definitions and props needed to develop a lecture-based performance explaining and exploring the relationship between fine art and performance. The Performance Pack is a signed and numbered limited edition artwork that draws on works which have been informed by performance in Tate Modern permanent collection.

Joshua Sofaer is a British artist. With an irreverent use of humour, he often plays with established forms of production, appropriating and reconfiguring the chat show, competition, lecture, or museum display.

THR 6 / FRI 7 December – time and place will be revealed upon reservation* 
ON THE SCENT / Curious (in english)
Home theatre

Have you ever been taken unawares by something in the air – transported to another place and time by an intangible but achingly familiar scent? On the Scent explores the elusive connections between smell and memory.

The performance has taken place in a diverse selection of homes ranging from a two-up-two down terrace house in West Bromwich and a council flat in East London to a luxury apartment adjacent to the Empire State Building in New York, seamlessly shapeshifting to a state-of-the-art condominium in Toronto and then on to a historical building in the heart of Porto Alegre, Brazil and a colonial mansion building in Shanghai.

Helen Paris and Leslie Hill are internationally respected artists known for their edgy, humorous interrogations of contemporary culture and politics. Their work embraces live performance, digital media, installation, publication, film, and video. As Curious they have produced over 30 works, as well as collaborations with artists, organisations and audiences worldwide.

concept: Curious, text and performing: Helen Paris, Leslie Hill, Lois Weaver

*On the Scent is an intimate 40 minute journy for 4 audience members at time. Performances run over two days with 8 shows per day. The times for shows are: 3pm, 3.40pm, 4.20pm, 5pm, 7pm, 7.40pm, 8.20pm and 9pm.
Reservations can be made only on: 739 775 747

FRI 7 December 5pm – 11pm, Krasny ztraty coffee, Náprstkova 10, Praha1
QUIZOOLA! / Forced Entertainment (in english)
durational performance

Over many hours three performers in shabby clown make-up interrogate each other with a text of 2000 questions. They sit inside a circle of bare electric light bulbs, in the intimate surroundings of a 'found space'.  The audience is free to arrive, leave and return at any point as this extraordinary, marathon game of questions and answers is played out.

Quizoola! is a live negotiation of what is real and what is performed – of what questions to ask and how to answer. Sometimes whispered, sometimes yelled, a barrage of questions are asked, from pop trivia through personal secrets, via pub-quiz and twisted philosophical search. Quizoola! explores the need people have for knowledge, certainty and definition through language. Dark, hilarious, absurd and intimate, it is a game that survives from moment to moment, a comical and sometimes brutal interrogation that soon gets out of hand.

Quizoola! has been performed in New York, Beirut and throughout Europe, in cellars, the basement changing area of an old gymnasium and under railway arches, confirming Forced Entertainment's reputation as true innovators of contemporary British theatre.

Developed as a text by Tim Etchells, Quizoola! was originally co-commissioned by the NRLA and ICA Live Arts in 1996.

The festival is supported by the City of Prague and the Ministery of Culture of Czech Republic. MOTUS, production of Alfred ve dvoře theatre. The Mission of Motus is to create a production framework for creative development, to actively improve beginning artists' work conditions, to support unusual creative activities, and to bring new directions in art closer to audiences and the general public.

Alfred ve dvoře (Alfred in the Courtyard). The stage for new theatre, presents progressive performance works and unique creation-based projects.  The focus is on contemporary directions in live art, especially on physical theatre, visual performance and experimental works. Alfred ve dvo_e operates as a space open to different artists' and companies' various projects, mostly artists who do not respect boundaries between traditional artistic disciplines in their work. The theatre systematically supports the development of new creation-based performance and risky experiments, participates in the realisation of creators' first works, provides rehearsal space, and supports the production and administration of co-production projects.

Banner image credit:

curious, On the Scent. Photograph: Hugo Glendinning


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