|Animatronics at the Prague Quadrennial, 2008: Nathaniel Mellors, Giantbum: Stage Three. Courtesy the artist and Matt´s Gallery, London; Galerie Diana Stigter, Amsterdam and MONITOR, Rome. Photo: Sam Drake, Tate Photography|
In announcing the selection, Design Principal Joseph N. Biondo said, "The Prague Quadrennial brings together theater-makers from the world to present and discuss new ideas in performance. We are honored that two of our projects were selected to represent the United States. It is an exciting opportunity for Spillman Farmer Architects to participate in this global dialogue about architecture, design, and performance practices."
The ArtsQuest Center and Lafayette Arts Plaza were selected for the National Exhibition within the Architecture Section, traditionally the main competitive section of the Prague Quadrennial. The National Exhibition, entitled NOW/NEXT, is organized by individual curators and presents work representing the most unique, specific, current trends of a country or region. Sited in the restored ancient church of St Anne's at the Prague Crossroads, NOW/NEXT highlights artists who collaborate with architects and architecture to create performances as well as those who reject conventional theater architecture to find or create alternative performance spaces.
The ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks is a dynamic performing arts, media, and cultural center located on the landmark Bethlehem Steel site in eastern Pennsylvania. Representing a new type of hybrid project for the arts, it is part performance space, exhibition venue and art cinema. Video of the building is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POPD2ZUDcmE&feature=related.
The Arts Plaza at Lafayette College is a raw, open-air space for the arts. The space was envisioned as an outdoor black box that can host a wide array of planned and spontaneous artistic endeavors, including performance art, visual art exhibits, and small-group musical performances. The structure actually transforms an abandoned building as it responds to the built and natural environment of which it is part. Video, including footage from a recent performance in the Arts Plaza can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuFvDZ6ZQf4.