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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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Katarzyna Tokarska-Stangret – ‘Non omnis moriar’ of the Theatre Artist

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‘Non omnis moriar’ of the Theatre Artist

Katarzyna Tokarska-Stangret

Jagiellonian University

When Tadeusz Kantor stood by the side of the stage, watched by the audience, he was an inseparable part of his productions. Sometimes, viewers – Anselm Kiefer, for one – would come solely for Kantor’s own little theatre of expression, not even in order to observe an artist deeply absorbed in his creation or a director working closely with his actors, directing the sound man, keeping an eye on the rhythm and flow – but to see someone full of charisma. Was Kantor able to transform that distinct ‘role’? Was he able, while remaining present on the stage, even for a moment to stop being Kantor the conductor-cum-director? Analysing the recorded rehearsals of I Shall Never Return (1988), it is possible to try to demonstrate that, in that performance, Kantor intended to create – by different means – a new character, that of Kantor-the-theatre-artist. Immersing oneself in such a role is qualitatively different from putting oneself on show alongside the performance or directing it.

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