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Tadeusz Kantor Today

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


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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Krzysztof Miklaszewski – The Actor in Kantor’s Theatre: A Visionary’s Questions, a Practitioner’s Answers and a Contemporary Post Script


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The Actor in Kantor’s Theatre: A Visionary’s Questions, a Practitioner’s Answers and a Contemporary Post Script

Krzysztof Miklaszewski

The run-of-mill stereotype fed to Polish society and reinforced by Polish art critics is as follows: Kantor’s Theatre is the Man Himself… and nothing else besides. The ‘nothing else’ refers to the actor, treated as an object, on a par with all the other cogs in Kantor’s machine. That much is clear when browsing through the impressive collection of countless theatrical reviews exhibited to the public by Cricoteka Archives, in enlarged form, following Kantor’s own practice. Even if a review does comment on the issue of the actor in Kantor’s theatre, this is limited to a description of the character – the visual aspect, entirely subjugated to the omnipotent creator, present on the stage. The real face of the creator, and that is what a Cricot 2 actor was, is almost never allowed to peep out from under the thick layer of make-up that Kantor applied liberally. In my studio TV programme O kondycji aktora [About the Condition of the Actor], Kantor confessed:

I revere a good actor. An actor is perhaps the only kind of artist to evoke respect and admiration. (...) I never manifest my love for actors. (...) I don’t like the word ‘love’. (...) They may even be astonished at this confession of mine. But this is how it is.1

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