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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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Anna Halczak – CRICOTEKA – ‘The Necessity of Transmission’


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CRICOTEKA – ‘The Necessity of Transmission’

Anna Halczak

On 19 January 1980, the Cricot 2 Theatre Centre opened at 5 Kanonicza Street. The Cricot 2 Theatre had never formally existed. For the first time ever, Tadeusz Kantor had allowed an institution devoted to his art to come into being. During the official opening, he voiced the still vague vision of how the new centre might function:

What am I going to be doing here? What are we going to be doing here, the theatre company, these people who most certainly will want to work. I would not like it to be a gallery, after all, nor a museum...1

The phase connected with the Krzysztofory Gallery was coming to an end. In a film interview, the artist confessed,

It is a shock (…) to me to be leaving Krzysztofory. I have left Krzysztofory – I’m talking not just about the place but also in a personal sense.2

From 1981, Kantor began to visit Kanonicza every day (apart from the times when he was touring abroad with his performances) to manage the Centre. Initially, the resources of Cricoteka consisted of theatrical objects and costumes passed on from the Krzysztofory Gallery by Grupa Krakowska [the Krakow Group] as well as effects of Kantor himself: programmes, posters and typewritten scripts, photocopied and placed in black canvas boxes (similar to those that the artist had at home), photographs to be reproduced and reviews...

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