Tribes: costume performance and social interaction in the heart of Prague

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This article explores the Tribes exhibition concept and its implementation during Prague Quadrennial 2015 (PQ15) based on visual documentation from the event as well as on my own experience as participant and spectator. I also provide insights on the experience of the Tribes using materials from a roundtable discussion entitled ‘Debating Tribes’ held by Critical Costume at PQ15,1 in which ‘tribes’ creators and curators participated. I argue that the responses to the Tribes project demonstrate ‘an intellectual capacity to entertain, and wrestle with the competing conceptual frames that constitute the contemporary field of visual
culture’ (Cope 2014, xiv), and claim that the Tribes project proved that the function(s) of costume extend far beyond visual storytelling. Finally, I provide a critical view on the contribution of the Tribes exhibition to an expanded understanding of costume within contemporary discourse, both within the frame of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, as well as beyond it. The article concludes with a short commentary on the lack of awards in costume design at PQ15.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-53
Number of pages20
JournalTheatre and Performance Design
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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