Tadeusz Kantor (1915-1990) argues for a theatre that is not a direct copy of reality but rather tests out the realms of the impossible, the fantastic and the unknown where art and life overlap. Theatre “searches for an ancestry deeply rooted in the past that emerges from ancient customs, ur-rituals, the practice of magic, festivities, ceremonial celebration, games, pageantry and processions, popular and street theatre, political and agit-prop theatre – it searches wherever art is no longer a consumer product but an integral component of life.“
Like the contemporary Polish artists Pawel Althamer, Artur Zmijewski Robert Kusmiroswki or Katarzyna Kozyra, Kantor interprets everyday life as a space that artists occupy in the role of intermediaries, where they interact with the audience.
“The lowest ranking reality” (Kantor) – what is deprived and degenerated is essential in the works of the artists shown in the exhibition. They start an open journey into what is unknown and extraordinary, which brings them to the limits of social decency and their own personal resilience. Art is life. Life is art.
In addition to the historical material from Kantor – drawings, props and documentations of happenings, installations and documentations of performances and projects will be shown, which for the most part have been conceived especially for the Vienna show.
The exhibition will be co-produced with the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw and will open there in May 2006.
Sabine Folie (Kunsthalle Wien)
Hanna Wróblewska (Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw)
Guided tours: every Sunday 4 pm