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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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4. Writings, Recordings, Clichés and the Living Archive

Extract

The Anatomy Lesson: Kantor’s Plots Jan Kłossowicz Let me start by pointing out that what I will be talking about contains broad general reflections stemming from the topic itself and, to a great extent, has a personal character. The paper which I delivered at the 1995 symposium occasioned by the fifth anniversary of Tadeusz Kantor’s death started with my reminiscences of the conference Tadeusz Kantor. Artiste a la fin du XX-e siècle held at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Today I would like again to recall the climate of those days: it is 11 June 1989, the second day of the conference, with over twenty participants from a number of countries, including Peter Brook, Jan Kott, Denis Bablet, Bernard Dort, Pierre Restany, Franco Quadri... There are a few hundred people in the audience. The atmosphere is solemn and yet charged, as if during a storm. Kantor comments on every contribution; he takes endless questions from the auditorium; he throws off his jacket and keeps pacing around the table, gesticulating and snapping his braces, as he would during a rehearsal in the Krzysztofory Gallery. As always, he delivers his trademark one-man show, more exciting than the whole conference, actually… But the audience is waiting for something more: for an indispensable row. Yesterday, there was one. Now comes my turn. In the last part of the conference, concerned with the current and future influence of Kantor’s theatre on other artists, I present a paper with the provocative title Le...

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