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Tadeusz Kantor Today

Metamorphoses of Death, Memory and Presence- Translated by Anda MacBride

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Edited By Katarzyna Fazan, Anna R. Burzynska and Marta Brys

This book is a compendium of texts by international authors which reflect on Tadeusz Kantor’s art in a broad range of contexts. The studies include works of prominent art historians, theatrologists and artists. The present revisiting of Kantor’s artistic œuvre reflects a contemporary historiographic approach. The authors place value on individual memory and consider contemporary art outside the traditional boundaries of particular artistic genres. The studies employ the latest strategies for researching theatrical performance as autonomous statements, without a literary anchor. Thanks to this approach, the eschatological and historical issues, crucial to the sphere of reference of Kantor’s Theatre of Death, have acquired a new presence – as art that liberates thinking in the here-and-now.

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1. Actors and Witnesses Make a Grand Entrance

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1. Actors and Witnesses Make a Grand Entrance Kantor’s Greatness: An Inconvenient Heritage Renato Palazzi We are here to ask ourselves what remains of Kantor in the theatre today. I mean, what remains, beyond what will always be deeply imprinted in the minds and hearts of all who knew him closely, beyond the perception of an inexpressible, absolute genius, of creativity that admitted no limits or boundaries. It is clear that none of us can imagine our own death without thinking of a twin, our alter ego bowed beside the bed, hat in hand, ready to give us a final farewell. It is clear that none of us can think again of our childhood without a perfect child’s handcart appearing before our eyes. And we all are now aware of carrying on our backs a waxwork of what we once were.1 But what has really survived of Kantor in the daily practice of the theatre? I think that it is neither justified nor actually right to have high hopes in this matter. Kantor’s personality, as we all know, was unique and unforgettable thanks to his history and the artistic results achieved. This uniqueness testifies to his greatness, but it may also be viewed as his misfortune, the reason why he was denied the chance to leave a legacy that one could gather and carry on. Trying to repeat, or worse, to imitate what Kantor did, would be impossible or even deplorable. I am, therefore, convinced that very little remains now...

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