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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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Mateusz Chaberski – What Can Tadeusz Słobodzianek’s Our Class Tell Us about The Dead Class? – The Political Dimension of Memory in the Work of Tadeusz Kantor

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What Can Tadeusz Słobodzianek’s Our Class Tell Us about The Dead Class? The Political Dimension of Memory in the Work of Tadeusz Kantor

Mateusz Chaberski

Jagiellonian University

1.

Contemporary perception of memory clearly indicates the political dimension of the phenomenon. Memory is viewed not only in relation to historiography but also in terms of individual and collective memory. Tension between the two structures of the past reveals the whole web of dependencies that memory is part of. These are clearly political in character, since history is always written for the precisely determined purposes of a specific society. The individual memories of its members, therefore, must undergo certain modification so as to combine into a congruous historic narrative. By the same token, the phenomenon of memory, which fascinates Tadeusz Kantor, merits analysis as to the extent to which the memories of the artist, transposed to the stage, can affect Polish society and its vision of the past. In order to consider the problem, one must first take a closer look at the processes which occur at the junction of the individual and the collective, the private and the official.

The problem of the complex relationships between the individual and the collective memories has a prominent position in Paul Ricoeur’s thinking. In his book Memory, History, Forgetting, taking the phenomenological description of memory as his starting point, the philosopher demonstrates the mechanism of the transition from memory to...

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