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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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3. Revisiting Scenes from the Theatre: Between Life and History

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Anthropology of History and Memory in the Theatrical Work of Tadeusz Kantor Klaudiusz Święcicki GSW Milenium, Gniezno; Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań 1. The Experience of Memory in the Theatre Space In 2004, in Holstebro, Denmark, the 40th anniversary of the Odin Teatret was being celebrated. At the beginning of the meeting, Eugenio Barba presented to the assembled guests a sizeable fresco, made with 650 kg of sand, collected on a nearby beach. The fresco represented Odin, fighting on horseback. It was after the Nordic god that Barba had named his theatre. Many ambivalent characteristics had been attributed to Odin. On the one hand, he was the god of war and warriors, the ruler of Valhalla – the land of the dead. On the other hand, however, he was capable of bestowing poetic inspiration, having stolen the ecstasy-inducing mead from the giant Suttungr. He also passed on to people the sacred runes. Odin pointed back to the ancient roots of the European culture. He thus became a memory sign referring to that which had been, to the Past Perfect. He was instrumental in providing the ambiance for the anniversary event. Yet the Odin of sand was marked by an inner dichotomy. The figure of the Norse god was associated with the attributes of might, bravery and prowess. The will of might was juxtaposed with the fragility of the material from which the sculpture had been made. That was a deliberate stratagem on Barba’s part. It was meant to set out the...

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