Extreme Costume: A conversation with Simona Rybáková

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This contribution is developed from a series of discussions with Simona Rybáková, Czech costume designer and curator of the Extreme Costume exhibition that was presented at the Prague Quadrennial in 2011 (PQ11). Following an overview on the presence of costume at recent editions of the Prague Quadrennial, this text focuses on the Extreme Costume exhibition, which showcased cutting edge costume practice in a full-scale independent display, for the first time shown separately from the PQ11 general performance design exhibition. The discussion provides a critical reflection on the curatorial process for the Extreme Costume exhibition and illuminates the curator’s enquiry and her intentions behind specific choices. It includes a review of the audience’s response and, most importantly, concludes with Rybáková’s insights on her personal ‘emancipation’ from her longlasting professional role as costume designer to the role of costume curator working with her colleagues’ practice for the purposes of this exhibition. Given the limited documentation available about Extreme Costume, the aim of this contribution is dual: to provide a resource on the scope and reach of this significant event; and to offer materials to costume research for further discussion related to exhibiting costume beyond the context of its original performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-108
Number of pages24
JournalStudies in Costume and Performance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Extreme Costume
  • exhibition
  • Prague Quadrennial
  • costume design
  • material
  • performance

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