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Further on, Nothing

Further on, Nothing: Tadeusz Kantor’s Theatre

Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 552
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  • Book Info
    Further on, Nothing
    Book Description:

    Michal Kobialka explores Tadeusz Kantor’s theatre practice from the critical perspective of current debates about representation, memory, and history. Further on, Nothing includes new translations of Kantor’s work, presented in conversation with Kobialka’s own theoretical analyses, to show us a Kantor who continues to offer—and deliver on—the promise of the avant-garde._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6806-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-xiv)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. My Work—My Journey (1988)
    (pp. 1-26)

    It is not easy for me to explain today that strange and remarkable time after the war, that time still full of painful war memories, and yet one in which I felt as though reborn. Today, it seems to me that the sun was shining day and night during all those years of my, as it were, second childhood.

    My whole life was still ahead of me.

    Standing at the threshold of my future, I was faced with its “infinity”; its endlessness !

    I rushed into this future with my eyes wide open and with the feeling of “greatness” in...

  6. 1 Topography of Representation
    (pp. 27-196)

    The question of what it means to represent has haunted Western academic and nonacademic culture ever since Plato and Aristotle defined the concept of representation some twenty-four centuries ago. According to Plato, representation is a process of doubling of the one that becomes two: “Whenever you see one, you conceive the other,” avers a statement inPhaedo.¹ Thus, an object, which has been perceived, or a thought, which has been conceived, is doubled and finds its material representation somewhere else than in its originary location. Aristotle inPhysicssuggests a different process; that is, a process of transferring an object...

  7. 2 Spatial Historiography: The Dead Class
    (pp. 197-276)

    The image of the Old People in black carrying wax figures of children, also in black, on their backs will forever be associated withThe Dead Class, which premiered on November 15, 1975, at the Galeria Krzysztofory (Krzysztofory Gallery) in Kraków.¹The Dead Classwas hailed both as Tadeusz Kantor’s masterpiece and as a seminal production marking a shift in his theatre practice. From that time onward, Kantor’s theatre or, to be more precise, Kantor’s theatre of death or theatre of essences, confronted and dazzled international audiences and critics.² Today, some thirty years later,The Dead Classexists only as...

  8. 3 Theatre of Similitude
    (pp. 277-414)

    According to legend mentioned in Cicero’sDe oratoreand Quintilian’sInsitutio oratoria, the art of memory came into being with Simonides.¹ The story goes that when Simonides had left an evening banquet, the entire building collapsed, burying the remaining guests. The relatives of the dead, who came to seek the bodies for burial, were unable to identify the bodies, for they had been mutilated to the point of being unrecognizable. Simonides, the sole survivor, was summoned because he remembered the order in which the guests had been sitting and, thus, could identify the dead. But to locate and to name...

  9. 4 Spatial Historiography: Silent Night
    (pp. 415-458)

    In July 1990, Tadeusz Kantor presentedSilent Nightin Avignon with the students of the Institut Supérieur des Techniques du Spectacle.¹ Before it started, Kantor remarked that what the audience was just about to experience was not a Cricot 2 production. Nor was it a play, a stage design, or an annexed theatre space. What they were about to see was a room in his house, which had burned down. There was only a chimney left—a chimney that Kantor had painted many times. It used to be his room—his room of imagination or memory. Now all that had...

  10. 5 The Space of Khora
    (pp. 459-502)

    Throughout his entire artistic life, Tadeusz Kantor was engaged in a systematic exploration of a theatrical space that revealed “the traces of transition from ‘that other side’ into our life”¹—a space where we could watch a parade of the remanences of events, memories, and people that wove an intricate fabric of Kantor’s reality, history, and autobiography:

    My “credo”:

    The only complete truth in art is

    a representation of one’s own life,

    a disclosure of all its details without shame,

    a discovery of one’s FATE

    and DESTINY. (“My Room”)

    Trying to save from oblivion his individual life from being absorbed...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 503-514)
  12. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 515-529)
  13. Writings by Tadeusz Kantor
    (pp. 530-533)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 534-534)