„Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear” – Objects and Archival Materials from the Cricoteka Collections

17 May 2013 – 31 June 2014
Cricoteka Archives
no. 5 Kanonicza Street

Opening 17 May at 7 p.m
during the Museums at Night festival

exhibition opening times:
Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays – from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tuesdays – from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday – closed
free admission

 The photos from the exhibition

Photograph from the cricotage Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear, „Stodoła” Students’ Club, Warsaw, 2–4 May 1984. Scene 9: The Trumpet of the Last Judgement. Rabbi: Zbigniew Gostomski, His Pupil: Dominika Michalczuk; photo: Jerzy Borowski; photograph from the collection of the Centre for the Documentation of the Art  of Tadeusz Kantor Cricoteka 

 

The exhibition, devoted to the cricotage Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear, is the fourth event in a series of displays aimed at a thematic presentation of the collections of the Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor Cricoteka.

On 27 January 1979, Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome held an exhibition entitled Cricot 2 Theatre and Artists from the Theatre Circles, which accompanied the exhibition Polish Avant-Garde 1910-1978. The opening of the two exhibitions included the world première of Tadeusz Kantor’s cricotage Where are the Snows of Yesteryear (with a total of five performances). A few years later, in 1982, Kantor prepared a new version of the cricotage, introducing some changes in the cast and stage design. The second version of The Snows was shown in Paris, London, Geneva and Warsaw.

On the one hand, the cricotage Where are the Snows of Yesteryear accompanied the exhibition, and on the other, it functioned as a separate event, which makes it a doubly important work in Tadeusz Kantor’s artistic output and constitutes a major element of the Theatre of Death.

The artist called his work cricotage, thereby clearly distinguishing this form of stage performance from other Cricot 2 productions. Cricotage was defined by Kantor as follows:

 Cricotage is a kind of activity which stems from the experience of the Cricot 2 Theatre
and from the method of acting discovered and practised there. (…)
Cricotage does not eliminate emotional states or strong tension.
Cricotage relies on REALITY.
Liberated from any kind of p l o t.
Its fragments, relics and traces
torn by the power of IMAGINATION,
defying all the conventions and the common’ sense
are joined together and strained to such an extent
that at any time they
could  r u p t u r e
and disintegrate.
This sense of  d a n g e r
and  i m m i n e n t
d i s a s t e r
is an essential feature of Cricotage.

(Tadeusz Kantor, the  programme of the play, Krakow 1984)

Therefore, the performance presents events which do not lend themselves to a logical order, and whose strength lies in its enormous metaphorical potential.

After the worldwide success of The Dead Class, Kantor was aware of the artistic challenges facing him. In this context, he often stressed the unique status of The Snows in his artistic work:

Apart from all this, this is  an attempt  to make one more step forward again – after ‘The Dead Class’. The cricotage ‘Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear’ is the first announcement of a new production by the Cricot 2 Theatre.

(Tadeusz Kantor, the  programme of the play, Krakow 1984)

The exhibition presents all the objects, costumes and stage props stored in Cricoteka as well as photographs by Caroline Rose, Jacquie Bablet and Romano Martinis, Tadeusz Kantor’s sketches and manuscripts as well as other items related to the work on the cricotage, most of which have never been displayed before.

In addition to the cognitive function of the exhibition, we would also like to assign it a research function and to provoke the visitor to actively participate in exploring the exhibition, inviting him to a discussion on the present impact of the work of Tadeusz Kantor. We are interested in the reactions to the cricotage Where are the Snows of Yesteryear after more than thirty years since its première, in the extent to which the emotional charge contained therein is still active and in how the tension which creates the performance is present in the preserved  artefacts – the stage props, costumes, photographs. We also wish to initiate a dialogue about the specifics of the work on The Snows in the context of changes taking place in the production.

Throughout the duration of the exhibition and the accompanying screenings, we intend to record the conversations and discussions with interested guests. We would then like to  confront the expressed questions and opinions with the accounts by the Cricot 2 actors at a meeting to be held on 11 October at Cricoteka’s seat at no. 5 Kanonicza Street.

The exhibition is also meant to become a contribution to the debate on how the cricotage affected  Tadeusz Kantor’s further work and on the extent to which themes and ideas inherent therein were continued in subsequent performances of the Cricot 2 Theatre and in the artist’s paintings.

Exhibition curators: Małgorzata Paluch-Cybulska, Bogdan Renczyński

 

Photograph from the cricotage Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear, „Stodoła” Students’ Club, Warsaw, 2–4 May 1984. Scene 4: As Long As Our Street Is Quiet!. Man in the Street: Wacław Janicki, Individual with a Parcel: Stanisław Rychlicki, Tadeusz Kantor; photo: Jerzy Borowski; photograph from the collection of the Centre for the Documentation of the Art  of Tadeusz Kantor Cricoteka

 

Guided tours by curators:

8-9 June, 12.00 p.m. – Święto Małopolski (Małopolska Festival)
17  November, 12.00 p.m.
– Dzień Otwartych Drzwi Muzeów Krakowskich (Open Day of Krakow Museums)

Screenings accompanying the exhibition:

4 June, 5 p.m.
5 November, 5 p.m.

Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear. Cricotage by Tadeusz Kantor. A Report from the Performance. A documentary about the Polish première of The Snows, which took place in Stodoła in Warsaw in 1984, accompanied by an exhibition Painters from the Cricot 2 Theatre and the Foksal Gallery. Apart from the coverage of the cricotage, the material includes Tadeusz Kantor’s comments on the works presented at the exhibition by such artists as Henryk Stażewski, Zbigniew Gostomski, Edward Krasiński, Wacław and Lesław Janicki, Maria Stangret, Andrzej Wełmiński and Roman Siwulak.

* Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear. Cricotage by Tadeusz Kantor. Report from the Performance, presenter – Tadeusz Kraśko, prepared by Zespół Pegaza, production – Telewizja Polska (Polish Television) Krakow, 1984, time: 60 min.

2 July, 5 p.m.
6 August, 5 p.m.

Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear – a film made by Andrzej Sapija in 1984, during the Warsaw performances in Stodoła Students’ Club. English subtitles.

* Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear, directed by Andrzej Sapija, production – Wytwórnia Filmów Oświatowych, Łódź 1984, time: 25 min.

Meeting with the actors of the Cricot 2 Theatre

 11 October, 6 p.m.

The meeting will be preceded by a screening of the film Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear – made in 1984 by Andrzej Sapija during the Warsaw performances in Stodoła Students’ Club. English subtitles.

We will also present recordings from the rehearsals for the cricotage Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear from the Krzysztofory Gallery in 1979 as well as Krzysztof Miklaszewski’s interview with Tadeusz Kantor regarding the Rome première of the performance.

 * Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear, directed by Andrzej Sapija, production – Wytwórnia Filmów Oświatowych, Łódź 1984, time: 25 min.
Recordings from the rehearsals for the cricotage Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear, the Krzysztofory Gallery, 1979, directed by Krzysztof Miklaszewski along with Krzysztof Miklaszewski’s interview with Tadeusz Kantor, time: 6 min.

Special offers on publications related to the exhibition:

 1. Catalogue for the exhibition Photographs by Caroline Rose. Was it Possible to Photograph the Theatre of Tadeusz Kantor?, which was held in the Cricoteka Archives in 2007 as well as in Palazzo Grifoni in San Miniato in Italy in 2008. Language versions: Polish-French and Italian-English.

Special price – 10 pln

 2. Catalogue for the exhibition Photographs by Jacquie Bablet [Fotografie Jacquie Bablet /  Photographies de Jacquie Bablet], held in the Cricoteka Archives in late 2008 and early 2009. The publication is accompanied by a DVD with a film by Denis Bablet Tadeusz Kantor. The Painter (with Polish and English subtitles).

Special price – 30 pln

 3. Poster for the cricotage Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear (in French and English), printed in 1983. It includes a reproduction of Tadeusz Kantor’s design for the Trumpet of the Last Judgement – an object from the performance.

Special price – 10 pln

 4. DVD publication containing three documentaries directed by Andrzej Sapija:

Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear, Tadeusz Kantor’s Mannequins, 1983; Only What You See Exists, 1992. Apart from the films, the DVD also includes extra features referring to the cricotage Where Are the Snows of Yesteryear: a selection of drawings, a text from the programme of the cricotage, tour itinerary and bibliography, a selection of photographs from the cricotage by Romano Martinis as well as chronology of Tadeusz Kantor’s life and work. The publication offers an English version of the films and additional materials.

Special price – 23 pln

 

The publications are also available on www.cricoteka.pl website (see: Bookshop).