Huge Numbers for Kantor Exhibition in São Paulo
small, Huge Numbers for Kantor Exhibition in São Paulo, Tadeusz Kantor in 1967, photos from the album Szkice z Kultury by Wojciech Plewiński, photo: Wojciech Plewiński, fo_plewinski_wojciech_teatr_09_5788698.jpg
Over 90,000 visitors came to visit Tadeusz Kantor Machine. On display for three months in São Paulo, the exhibition included theatre plays, happenings, performances, paintings and other modes of production, all organised by Culture.pl.
The statistics were reported by Adam Jurek from exhibition co-organiser Art Museum in Łódź. Jurek emphasised that the exposition presented Kantor as “an interesting and original artist because of his achievements in both theatre and visual arts”. He also explained:
Our aim was to present his works as a phenomenon where theatre and art intervene with each other, creating a total artwork.
In a specially-prepared space, there were over 130 objects. They were originals or copies of stage props, paintings, drawings and assemblages, but also rich photographic and film archive recordings of happenings, actions and plays by the Cricot 2 Theatre. They were taken from: Cricoteka; the Art Museum in Łódź; the national museums based in Kraków, Warsaw, Poznań and Wrocław; the district museums of Koszalin and Tarnów; as well as from private collections.
Part of the celebrations to mark Kantor’s centenary in April, Machine was the biggest ever retrospective of his works outside Poland and his first in the South America at the same time.
It was enriched by accompanying events such as lectures, educational workshops, plays and interventions staged by artists from Brazil, Iran and Poland (Cinema Theatre). It was also complemented by an illustrated catalogue in Portuguese and English with text written by Kantor specialists from Brazil, the USA and Poland.
Other than Culture.pl (the flaship brand of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute), the exhibition was also co-organised by the Art Museum in Łódź and Servico Social do Comercio (Sesc) in Sao Paulo – the most important cultural, educational, and social institute in Brazil. The exhibition ran from 18th August to 14th November 2015.
Tadeusz Kantor was born in 1915 in Wielopole Skrzyńskie, in the province of Tarnów. He died in 1990 in Kraków. The founder of the Cricot 2 theatre was also a stage director, creator of happenings, painter, set designer, writer, art theoretician, actor in his own productions and lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.
He was a highly original theoretician, an innovator strongly grounded in tradition, an anti-painterly painter, a happener-heretic and an ironic conceptualist. These are only a few of his many incarnations. Apart from that, Kantor was a tireless animator of artistic life in post-war Poland; one could even say he was one of its chief motivating forces. Kantor staged his first productions - Jean Cocteau's Orpheus, Juliusz Słowacki's Balladyna and Stanisław Wyspiański's The Return of Odysseus with an underground theatre company that gave performances in private homes.
His early productions, based on the plays of Stanisław Wyspiański and Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (The Madman and the Nun, 1963, and Dandies and Frumps,1972) are held in high esteem and helped popularise these plays, which are generally considered to be difficult. However, Kantor only gained international recognition with his later productions, many of which were inspired by the prose of Bruno Schulz. Remarkably, Kantor made reference to his own biography through these plays, reaching into the private archive of his memory (a theatrical form known as the Theatre of Death, which includes productions such as The Dead Class (1975), Where are Yesterday's Snows? (1979), Wielopole, Wielopole (1980), Let the Artists Vanish (1985), I Shall Never Return Here (1988) and Today is My Birthday (1991).
Culture.pl in Brazil
Source: Polish Press Agency, edited by PW, translated by ND, 24 Nov 2015