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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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Jaromir Jedliński – Kantor and Beuys: Parallel Processes?

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Kantor and Beuys: Parallel Processes?

Jaromir Jedliński

I have spoken of both Beuys and Kantor. I have organised exhibitions of both artists, until now – separately. I also came up with the idea of the exhibition Beuys/Kantor: Remembering, shown in mid-2012 at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.1 Beuys could well have been the Odysseus in Kantor’s Independent Theatre in the occupied Poland, who, in the words of Stanisław Wyspiański, the author of the drama The Return of Odysseus, proclaimed, ‘From Troy I have returned’.

The Jerusalem exhibition of the artist from Poland vis-à-vis the artist from Germany covered the stations of the biography of Beuys, born in 1921, and of the biography of Kantor, six years his senior, similarities and differences in their achievements and the remembering instilled in their respective opuses as well as our remembrance thereof. I also draw on my memory of working with both artists. I interpret the memory of a creative achievement as a continuing challenge. Indeed, we have been left with the wreck of both artists’ endeavour and the ruins of our own history: ‘the function of the wreck’, according to Kantor, ‘can only gain substance in memory’2: first of all, in the artist’s own memory, and later – in the memory of all of us who remain.

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