23 October 2015 – 27 March 2016 / The exhibition has been prolonged till 15 May.
Opening: 23 October 2015, 6 p.m.
I’m Goddamn Falling! is an exhibition devoted to the final period of Tadeusz Kantor’s artistic and theatre activity which was initiated by the performances The Wedding (1986) and The Machine of love and Death (1987). Unlike the previous productions of the Theatre of Death this period is characterized by the beginning of Kantor’s pictorial theatre, referred to by the artist himself as “The Theatre of Love and Death”.
Late paintings and performances by Tadeusz Kantor are marked by intimacy and private experience. The artist refers directly to himself: he talks about his fears, doubt, unfulfilled love and anticipated imminent death. There is another aspect of this self-interest: the artist decided to contrast the life of an individual with different forms of totalitarianism, violence, power and heartlessness of the world. In these works the artist also settles accounts with his own art and himself, he goes deeper.
The exhibition will present most of the latest paintings by Tadeusz Kantor. Similarly to the exhibition Further On, Nothing (Kraków 1988, Paris 1989), the paintings will be displayed on a metal construction. The works represent the cycles: I’m Goddamn Falling!, Further On, Nothing, One Does Not Look Through a Window Unpunished and My House. We also prepared a selection of nearly thirty drawings from the artist’s latest period. Besides sketches of paintings they include drawings connected with the subjects of intimacy, privacy, love, death, loneliness, drawings from the Poor Little Room of Imagination series as well as works referring to Young Poland paintings by Jacek Malczewski. Large mirrors will constitute one of the elements of the arrangement of the exhibition. They will create a duplication effect and encourage visitors to confront the artist’s intimate world in relation to his art.
Visitors will also be presented with two theatrical objects: an installation The Machine of Love and Death, borrowed from Museo Internazionale delle Marionette in Palermo, and the Bridegroom Mannequin with (Tadeusz Kantor’s) coffin displayed on a platform from I Shall Never Return (1988). Intimacy is noticeable both in the figures of mannequins and in the corporeality of artistic self-portraits or final works of the Cricot 2 Thatre. The mannequins presented at the exhibition, with Tadeusz Kantor’s features, are closely connected with the artist’s late paintings and theatrical activity.
Paintings, drawings and objects are supplemented with recordings of performances such as The Wedding (1986), The Machine of Love and Death (1987), A Very Short Lesson (1988) and I Shall Never Return (1988).
The exhibition will be accompanied by a wide-ranging program of screenings, curator-guided tours and workshops for children. We will also hold two workshops addressed to professionals. The first one – combining the fields of ballet, contemporary dance and performance art – will be focused on the notion of intimacy and corporeality (the issue of a look-alike, double identity, crossing of boundaries). The other workshop will be devoted to puppets in the context of animation (construction, name, puppet biography, the puppet-actor relationship, the intimacy of a puppet versus the intimacy of an actor).
Two academic conferences will also be organized. The first one, held in November 2015, will be devoted to the notions of intimacy, self-presentation, describing oneself and one’s own condition. Specialists in the fields of anthropology, psychoanalysis, theatre studies, art history, phenomenology, studies on the body and dance will participate in the conference session. The other conference, held at the beginning of next year, will concentrate on the figure of a mannequin in Tadeusz Kantor’s work. We will discuss the relationship between a mannequin and the identity of an artist (e.g. the dead Bride Mannequin as an emballage of love).
Curated by: Małgorzata Paluch-Cybulska, co-curated by: Bogdan Renczyński
The Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute
Art of Tadeusz Kantor © Maria Kantor & Dorota Krakowska