Ambalaże, Polish word coined from the French emballage meaning “packaging” was one of Kantor’s main creative strategies. The symbolic gesture of wrapping up an object or a figure is related to the need to guard, protect, fix, hide. Earlier, the artist fled from creating images of bodies and objects into abstract art. Emballages let him “touch the nature of the object” again.
“Wrap up! Exhibition of Tadeusz Kantor’s emballages”
Sienna 7/5, Tadeusz Kantor’s Gallery–Studio
The exhibition in the Gallery–Studio presents the selected emballages from the Cricoteka collection and deposits. The large-size painting Emballage VI from 1967 presents a defragmented human figure. This is how Kantor slowly returned to presenting images of the human, something he had avoided since the Second World War. Corresponding to the painting is The Children in a Rubbish Cart – the artist’s own reconstruction of an exhibit (1981, 1983) from Cricot 2 Theatre play In a Little Manor House. Much like in the painting, the human form is also hinted here by mannequin hands and heads. They grow from coarse latex-covered fabric masking the mechanism that sets the hands in motion. The exhibition also boasts photographs from plays and happenings selected by the artist and printed on canvas to his indications. Kantor treated archival objects like works of art, which is why he signed, stamped, and sometimes painted them up. The ones shown in the exhibition focus on the motif of the hidden body, carnality, relationship between a figure and an object, and operations on the body. The wardrobes in the Artist’s Room will be opened to give the visitors an opportunity to see proprietary packagings of commonplace elements of the everyday. They illustrate the tactic of annexing reality, characteristic of Kantor, and assigning an aesthetic value even to pharmaceutical packagings and boxes with pastels.
Curator: Małgorzata Paluch-Cybulska