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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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Ruggero Bianchi – Minor Notes on a Borderline Artist


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Minor Notes on a Borderline Artist

Ruggero Bianchi

Whenever I try to write about Kantor, and whatever efforts I make to analyze the manifold aspects of his oeuvre, he always seems to me a perfect model of the total artist at work. His way of dealing with and relating to his actors and himself live on stage, of directing himself not only as a performer but also as a director, appears to me remarkable, if not unique. In my experience, his impressive presence and role in The Dead Class are unmatched, even when I compare him with other foremost figures of the avant-garde theatre of the late 20th century.

I am thinking here of Julian Beck, for example, whose physical and emotional impact was primary and irreplaceable, even when, in acting or performing, he did not have a leading role. The Living Theatre in its early years was a close-knit ensemble, though anomalous at the time, a vocal and gestural chorus within which Beck happened sometimes to play the part of the coryphaeus, especially when directly addressing his audience and/or conveying his radical, anarchist and pacifist messages to them. Basically, however, even in his happenings or improvised actions, Julian was just one among the others, never a secret witness (like Jerzy Grotowski), an inner eye (like Elizabeth LeCompte) or an invisible, active observer/controller (like Eugenio Barba). Above all, he was never an artist/a director on stage, as Kantor was. If his...

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