The volume brings together 138 pieces by one of the 20th century’s influential theatre practicioners. It is the first attempt to publish all of Grotowski's official texts in one volume, and features 37 titles previously unpublished in Polish and 17 that had remained entirely unknown
Agata Adamiecka-Sitek, an editors of the new collection, commented that the book can be seen as a creative autobiography conjured up by Grotowski himself.
The initiators of the project are Mario Biagini and Thomas Richards of the Jerzy Grotowski Workcenter in Pontederra, Italy. Igor Stokfiszewski from the editing team of Teksty zebrane underscored that for Biagini and Richards it was important for the years spent establishing and editing the collection to widen the circle of people acquainted with the director's oeuvre. They wanted to extend Grotowski's living presence in the contemporary practice and theory of theatre making.
The collection's final form is a result of this approach. It is not a critical edition, but an assemblage of texts accepted by Grotowski as ready for publication. Nearly a thousand pages long, it includes articles, essays, authorised transcriptions of public lectures and presentations as well as interviews. Previously unpublished in Poland are 37 texts including Wokół powstawania Apocalypsis / Around the Making of Apocalypsis, Reżyser jako widz zawodowy / The Director as a Professional Spectator and Montaż w pracy reżysera / Montage in the Work of a Director. The book includes 17 never-published texts, such as Grotowski's graduation dissertations and writings based on his public talks from the 1970s, prepared by Leszek Kolankiewicz. Along with titles that form a canon of the artist's heritage, entirely unknown political presentations come from the period of Grotowski's engagement in communist youth organisations in 1957.
Private documents, letters , unauthorised texts and poetry written by Grotowski, along with the lectures given in Paris and Rome, are to be published in a separate collection.
Igor Stokfiszewski said at a press conference in April 2013:
Grotowski is an artist who devoted his life to research on human freedom, countering his contemporary romantic and patriotic trends which dominated the direction of development for Polish modernity. [...] In 1976, Poland's Archbishop of the Millenium, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, shouted out his contempt for the Apocalypsis cum figuris performance in a sermon that formed part of a mass in Kraków's Skałka church. The cardinal had claimed that the play demoralises the Polish nation.
Teatr Laboratorium, directed by Grotowski together with Ludwik Flaszen, was not a theatre in the traditional sense. It was an institute for research on the art of theatre, and that of the actor in particular. Its activities focused around classics of literature - Polish Romantic authors, such as Mickiewicz, Słowacki and Wyspiański, and texts of Marlowe and Calderon.
Toward the end of the 1970s, Grotowski was exploring ritual techniques that derived from various traditions. From 1986 until his death in 1999, Grotowski worked mainly in Pontederra, Italy, where he founded the Workcentre of Jerzy Grotowski. He is considered one of the most significant reformers of contemporary theatre. He was one of three Poles to become a professor of the College de France, along with Adam Mickiewicz and Bronisław Geremek. The Department of Theatre Anthropology was founded at College de France especially for Grotowski.
Teksty zebrane is released in Poland by the publishing house of Krytyka Polityczna, the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw and the Jerzy Grotowski Institute in Wrocław.
Translated by Paulina Schlosser
Source: PAP, 16.04.2013