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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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Marie-Thérèse Vido-Rzewuska – Kantor, Schulz, Malczewski, Wyspiański: Some Paradoxes

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Kantor, Schulz, Malczewski, Wyspiański: Some Paradoxes

Marie-Thérèse Vido-Rzewuska

It is not my intention to make any new discoveries; I would like, however, to delve more deeply into the relationships between Kantor and the works of Stanisław Wyspiański, Jacek Malczewski and Bruno Schulz, relationships that the artist himself acknowledged. I would like to analyse the manner in which he appropriated and refashioned certain works, as well as attempting an elucidation of why he avoided, or obscured, their characteristic vibrancy, dwelling, instead, in his own theatrical and artistic creativity on the death element. Let me start with Bruno Schulz and the concept of ‘reality of the lowest rank’. Kantor’s borrowings from Schulz bring to mind that author’s Treatise on Tailors’ Dummies and the desire which appears there, expressed through the character of the Father ‘to create man a second time – in the shape and semblance of a tailors’ dummy’.1 When one hears the words ‘shoddy, poor quality, rubbish’, and when watching the Theatre of Death and its players, one can easily see the links between the worlds of Schultz’s and Kantor’s productions, which have been very amply discussed by numerous researchers. When, however, one gets closer to the description of objects and the environment of the famed reality of the lowest rank, profound differences between the two artists are revealed.

For Schulz, the newly-created reality ‘in its own, lower rank’ is ‘creations resembling, in appearance only, living creatures...

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