Ewa Guderian-Czaplińska. The National Pornography
Ewa Guderian-Czaplińska reviews the play The National Anthem directed by Przemysław Wojcieszek (Helena Modrzejewska Theater in Legnica, premiere: 2-3.04.2016). Guderian-Czaplińska focuses on the political reality shown in the play. Although the actors playing right-wing demons – Pawłowicz, Macierewicz, Duda – exaggerate their roles, the viewers do not laugh, because the scenes on stage are too close to reality. The reviewer believes that Wojcieszek’s production makes no attempt to diagnose the contemporary political situation, it problematizes nothing, and it does not fortify the spirit. Quoting a recent statement by Artur Żmijewski, she risks the hypothesis that “shamelessness and political obscenity reign supreme on the theater stage in Legnica.”
Iwona Kurz. Use the Jews
Iwona Kurz reviews the play March ’68: Living Well Is the Sweetest Revenge by Monika Strzępka and Paweł Demirski (the Jewish Theater in Warsaw, premiere: 14.05.2016). The author notes that the space, which recalls part of a great props room, could symbolize the dark corners of the Polish imagination. She also perceives the specificity of the community in the performance – situated between heaven and purgatory. The clear division between Poles and Jews here is a basis for articulating fear of the other on stage. Kurz takes a critical view of Demirski’s moralizing text, which reduces language to catchphrases and slick bon mots, while abandoning humor, which had been the strength of his work to date. Moreover, the reviewer believes that any discussion on Polish antisemitism is rendered futile in the context the artists create.
A Poll: Leszek Kolankiewicz, Piotr Morawski, Joanna Wichowska, Szymon Wróblewski, Wojtek Ziemilski
A few short statements on The Constitution for a Choir of Poles, directed by Marta Górnicka (Nowy Theater in Warsaw, 2-3.05.2016). All the poll’s participants stress that the event was both political and educational, owing to the text of the Constitution (unfamiliar to many people), and to the nature of the choir, made up of highly diverse social groups. Leszek Kolankiewicz also points out the performative quality of the event, which is a new aspect in Górnicka’s work, while Joanna Wichowska suggests bringing a reading of the Constitution from the theater to the public space – in the literal sense.
Krystyna Duniec. The Constant Prince, or: The Catholic Pole
Krystyna Duniec’s article covers a staging ofCalderon/Słowacki’s The Constant Prince, directed by Juliusz Osterwa. Sketching a historical, social, and political outline of the interwar period, the critic fits the play into the trend of phenomena aiming to shape the identity of the Catholic Pole, based on the Romantic ideals of messianism. Duniec finds the moment of spiritual transformation in Osterwa’s work, reminiscent of Christian theater, in the first Kiev production of The Constant Prince. The writer also covers the Warsaw premiere of 1918, pointing out the stage design, the character of the production, and its reception. Part of the text is devoted to the history of the Reduta.
Katarzyna Waligóra. Sons
Katarzyna Waligóra reports on the play All about My Mother directed by Michał Borczuch (Łaźnia Nowa Theater in Krakow, premiere: 22.04.2016). The author traces the plot of the play, in which the director and actor Krzysztof Zarzecki speak of their mothers who died of cancer. Waligóra analyzes the methods of building narratives about private pasts from remnant and images. Waligóra notes that the part devoted to Zofia, the mother of Michał Borczuch, involves summoning phantasms, which differentiates it from the part devoted to Krystyna, Zarzecki’s mother, in which some memories are consciously withheld. The actresses’ impact on the quality and meaning of the play are also discussed.
With a Japanese Brush. Monika Niemczyk in Conversation with Joanna Targoń
The subject of Joanna Targoń’s interview with Monika Niemczyk, an actress in All about My Mother (Łaźnia Nowa Theater in Krakow, premiere: 22.04.2016), is the process by which the play was created and the work strategy of the director and the actresses in the project, which involves the intimate recollections and experiences of Michał Borczuch (the director) and Krzysztof Zarzecki (an actor). Niemczyk speaks of the improvisations based on family photographs and stories that initiated the work, and also of the long period in which the creative process ran without a finished script, which was gradually written by Tomasz Śpiewak. The interview also covers the topic of Almodóvar’s film, which they watched during rehearsals, served as an importance point of departure, and inspired Dorota Nawrot, who designed the set and the costumes.
“What Am I Doing in the Theater?”: Michał Borczuch in Conversation with Second-Year Theatrology Students from the Jagiellonian University
This conversation begins with a student asking Michał Borczuch about his approach to theater criticism. The director believes that criticism, like directing, requires an interdisciplinary approach, and is valuable when it places the play in a context of phenomena going beyond the theater. He also speaks of his work at the theater school, The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative scholarship, and working outside the theater institution with people from various social groups. Part two of the conversation concerns his work on the play All about My Mother (Łaźnia Nowa Theater in Krakow, premiere: 22.04.2016), based on recollections Borczuch and actor Krzysztof Zarzecki have of their mothers, who died of cancer. The subject of casting the actors is raised, as is the difference in Borczuch’s and Zarzecki’s theatrical languages, and the play’s reception by their close family.
Areta Nastazjak. The Able-bodied in the Theater
Areta Nastazjak devotes this articles to the play Paradiso, directed by Michał Borczuch (Łaźnia Nowa Theater in Krakow, premiere: 21.06.2015), describing and analyzing the creation process of the play, in which most of the cast were wards of the “Life Farm,” a center for autistic adults. She outlines the relationship between the amateur actors and the professional hired for the project, as well as the special work conditions. One important theme is the ethical dimension of the project, which was very important to the director and the other artists. The theoretical part of the article covers the implications of the term “disabled” – a concept shaped as an opposition to the norm. Nastazjak cites some theoretical texts (such as Claire Bishop’s Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship), investigating the status of handicapped actors and the nature of their presence on stage.
Anna R. Burzyńska. My Voice: It Says Nothing
This review of Elfriede Jelinek’s Princess Dramas, directed by Michał Borczuch (Slovensko mladinsko gledališče in Ljubljana, premiere: 1.12.2015), forwards the thesis that the Slovene staging is a very consistent development of the Polish director’s style, as well as a faithful presentation of a series of works by an Austrian playwright who creates a fairy-tale model with its Freudian subtext of cruelty and sex, its repressed desires, the inevitable failure of its attempts to make dreams come true, its unsuccessful departures from reality, and its painful lessons in growing up. Jelinek and Borczuch’s princesses are a prologue to a woman – but the play titled Woman could only be directed by a man: a prince, a prince charming, a husband. These women remain dependent on male authority, the male gaze, male language; any attempt to speak one’s own language ends in catastrophe.
Paweł Mościcki. The Choreography of Revolutionary Ferment
Paweł Mościcki’s point of departure is Siegfried Kracauer’s article “Das Ornament der Masse,” concerning the capitalist production process, which is reflected, for example, in the choreographic designs of sport events. Mościcki joins Kracauer in exploring the essence of mass ornament. Looking at the photography of Arthur Mole and a handful of Soviet films, he ponders the role of the collective and human masses in forming state symbols and political structures. Mościcki formulates the thesis that, for the Soviet directors, film came to communicate revolutionary content, and a film’s composition echoed the dilemma of the post-revolutionary structure in the imperative to show itself as extraordinary.
Iwona Kurz. The History of Dance… Miklós Jancsó’s Revolutionary Duology
Iwona Kurz focuses on the “trilogy of suffering” by Hungarian film director Miklós Jancsó. She explores the relationship between cinema and history in Jancsó’s work, noting that, on the one hand, it is focused on the history of the country, and on the other, it moves toward the deconstruction of the national myth. She proves that for Jancsó, the body – one of the major themes in his work – is not a tool of affect, but a vessel for memory. She asserts that the director walks the line between realistic convention and allegory. She also states that his minimalist style, and his abandonment of character psychology and cause-and-effect continuity create a sense of distance from the reality we see.
Erhard Ertel. Stroboscope Perception: Continuity and Punctuation as Constituitive Facets of Reality and the Cognitive Process
Erhard Ertel focuses on the issue of perception in the context of the spectacle. The subject of his study is audiovisual theatrical documentation. Exploring a range of audiovisual concepts – such as those of Bertold Brecht and philosopher Ernst Mach – he considers the nature of the media representation of reality. Ertel explains the role of media interference in the staging process and the differences between human sensory perception and perception mediated by technology. He suggests that audiovisual theater performances are not an authentic testimony of reality, they are merely a mediated construct.
Małgorzata Sugiera. Performance as an Epidemic
This text analyzes the significance of the theatrical performance, whose aspects are compared to an epidemic. The author quotes a work by Susan Leigh Foster (The Cambridge Companion to Performance Studies), explaining the latter’s concept of a sensory effect on an audience being like an infection, in this case tied to the communication of physical energy. Turning her attention to the significance of the collective, Małgorzata Sugiera opposes Foster’s conclusions, which stress the necessity of considering individual bodies and their historically fluctuating concepts and materializations. Sugiera recalls a definition by Antonin Artaud, assuming the actor’s incarnation of the communicated disease, imposing the experience of a temporal community upon the audience. In Sugiera’s view, people’s lack of readiness to have an aesthetic experience and to focus on their own aims is the basis of a potential epidemic, which is why we never know how an event will conclude.
Mateusz Borowski. Performance as Software
Citing media theorist Lev Manovich, Mateusz Borowski perceives a metaphor in computer database operating mechanisms for some aspects of contemporary performative arts. The author calls attention to the technological context of today’s art, which uses the phenomenon of remediation through hypermedia interfaces, creating the impression of an Auslanderian “liveness.” According to Borowski, performance conceived as software gives rise to forms that are hard to classify. One example he supplies is Rimini Protokoll’s Best Before, in which the viewers linked with avatars to make community management decisions. The author stresses the need to look back, to examine Classical forms of theater which have not been considered intermedia, to reappraise what we think we already know.
Mateusz Chaberski. Performance as Assemblage
Mateusz Chaberski analyzes the genealogy of performance as various types of assemblage. He problematizes the issue of describing audience experience, which eludes the rigid divisions of a mechanistic Cartesian philosophy. He formulates the conclusion that the contemporary theory of assemblage collapses the fundamental opposition between subject and object, making them interchangeable, depending on the interaction that occurs between their various components. Among his examples is the performance Growing Geometries, which involves injecting mushrooms with ink in an early phase of their development. The mushrooms’ transformation from passive material to independent work of art turns the scientist into an observer. This leads Chaberski to the thesis that the assemblage scholar cannot proceed like an objective observer of reality – he must consider his own entanglement with the subject of his study.
Lotte van den Berg. Dialogue
Dialogue is a manifesto by Lotte van den Berg, in which the author explores interpersonal relationships and man’s place in the world. Her point of departure is a conversation with a homeless Ethiopian living in Holland, a participant in Street, prepared by van den Berg for Rimini Protokoll’s Parallel Cities project. The author concludes that we are all experts on everyday life. She believes that we need to strike up a dialogue with another person in order to gain awareness of ourselves.
Katarzyna Tórz. Am I OK Here? Lotte van den Berg and the Paradox of the Viewer
Katarzyna Tórz examines the work of Dutch artist Lotte van den Berg. She points out her particular interest in the human being – his/her position in the world and the role adopted vis-a-vis another creature. Tórz suggests that the artist uses theater as an optical tool for exploring empathy and interpersonal communication. She believes that van den Berg’s projects, verging on social activities and art/research projects, attempt to restore the conditions for contemplating the world, and to jostle the viewer from a state of passivity.
Practice Yourself amongst Others. Lotte van den Berg in Conversation with Katarzyna Tórz
Katarzyna Tórz delves into the position of the viewer and the actor in the theater, and the aesthetic used by van den Berg. Tórz asks if art can be a tool for social change, and what opportunities theater gives people to communicate. An important aspect of the conversation is an attempt to conclude what it means to be among others, and what roles we take on in relations with others.
Katarzyna Fazan. A Self-portrait of Poles in Immigrant Dress
Katarzyna Fazan reviews The Supplicants directed by Paweł Miśkiewicz (Stary Theater in Krakow, premiere: 9.04.2016), pointing out the scattered narration that demands the actors create an amorphous collective. She also covers the problematic nature of representation – the actors can appear as their “private selves,” play the role of immigrants, or the viewers afraid of the immigrants. The reviewer stresses the self-reflexive quality of the performance, which, though it flirts with triviality, is a powerful method of self-examination.
Zuzanna Berendt. Everything’s All Right
Zuzanna Berendt reviews the play Mothers and Sons directed by Krystyna Janda (Polonia Theater in Warsaw, premiere: 28.04.2016). The article opens by reflecting on the consequences of bringing the American text to the Polish stage. Berendt points out the impact of the play’s humor on the execution the play’s theme: the conflict between the mother of an AIDS victim and his ex-partner, presently living in a legalized homosexual relationship. The author critically assesses the representation of the various standpoints in the play, calling attention to the danger in stereotypes and simplifications. She does appreciate the play, however, as a voice speaking up for the social acceptance of homosexuality.
Piotr Dobrowolski. I See What I See (and I Am Not Ashamed of It)
Piotr Dobrowolski reviews the play Blood on a Cat’s Throat, or: Marilyn Monroe Vs. the Vampires, directed by Anja Suša (Hieronim Konieczka Polski Theater in Bydgoszcz, premiere: 19.03.2016). Dobrowolski writes of the play’s political aspect, focusing on the arrangement of the space, the amateur actors’ commitment to the role of the main protagonist, representing the audience, and the selection of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s text. In sum, Dobrowolski sees the play as in the spirit of the Bydgoszcz theater’s program, which proves that, provided the repertoire is well chosen, a public theater can tackle social, economic, and political issues.
Stanisław Godlewski. Positively and Politically
Stanisław Godlewski reviews a staging of Krystyna Miłobędzka’s Fatherland, directed by Justyna Sobczyk at the Polski Theater in Poznań (premiere: 12.03.2016). The author notes the political message of the performance, as well as the form, which is a synthesis of words, sound, and choreography. Godlewski suggests that the abstract series of events and situations shows the mechanisms by which a community is formed.
Olga Katafiasz. What a Tale Is Made of
Olga Katafiasz reviews Ewelina Marciniak’s play The Books of Jakub, an adaptation of Olga Tokarczuk’s book of the same title (Zygmunt Hübner Powszechny Theater in Warsaw, premiere: 13.05.2016). In describing the method of adapting the novel, the author claims that the attempt to tell the complex and multileveled story of Jakub Frank in a way that is comprehensible to the viewer who has not read the novel necessitates many simplifications. Katafiasz notes that Katarzyna Borkowska’s set design builds a world full of contradictions, while the excessively costumed actors are an illustration of how we perceive Eastern cultures. In her opinion, Marciniak’s production needs historical context on the situation of the Jews in prewar Poland, and the play’s conclusion clashes with Tokarczuk’s intentions.
Agata Łuksza. Shakespeare in Parliament
Agata Łuksza reviews Measure for Measure, directed by Oskaras Koršunovas (Dramatyczny Theater in Warsaw, premiere: 3.04.2016). The author points out the setting in the Polish political scene: the characters represent various political and moral standpoints, and the stage has been arranged like a parliament hall, which also affects the nature of the costumes and the choreography. The critic takes a positive approach to Koršunovas’s faithful rendering of the text on stage, supplemented by the contemporary political context, calling the Lithuanian director’s piece both accurate and up-to-date.
Anna Bajek. Dune 2016+
A review of the play Dune 2016, created as a co-production between Komuna//Warszawa and the Polski Theater in Bydgoszcz (premiere: 30.12.2015). Anna Bajek notes that the artists have focused on the ecological aspects of Frank Herbert’s novel Dune (published in 1965, opening the Dune Chroniclesseries) and sought an analogy between the sand-covered planet and the Earth. As such, the production poses a question about the future of our planet. The author also stresses the fragmentary nature of the performance, which, together with the general concept – the staging of Herbert’s fictional journey to Teheran – affects the associative nature of this demanding narrative.
Dawid Dudko. We, the Society
A review of the play Death Sits on the Pear Tree and Looks at Me, directed by Kuba Falkowski (Stefan Jaracz Theater in Łódź, premiere: 16.04.2016). The author stresses the collective nature of the presentation – the actors, present on stage the whole time, form a community, and the director standing among them plays the role of a shaman releasing his energy. The reviewer stresses the skillful weaving of political issues into the play. In his opinion, the avoidance of radically journalistic overtones and the creative use of a worker’s theater aesthetic make the performance an interesting discussion on humanitarianism and freedom.
Tobiasz Papuczys. A Brief History of Humanity
Tobiasz Papuczys reviews A Brief Outline of Everything directed by Teo Dumski (Cloud Theater, premiere: Nowe Horyzonty Cinema in Wrocław, 4.02.2016). A Brief Outline of Everything is a multimedia spectacle that blends theater and film, in which the artists use a plotless montage of scenes to depict the history of the world. Papuczys analyzes the use of video, pointing out the opposition between the living actor and the projection. The director calls his technique an associative montage. The critic sees a relationship between this way of narrating the history of the world and the poetic shorthand of Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The essayistic form of the performance gives the viewer a peek into the thought and creative processes of the director.
Zuzanna Berendt. Factory 3
Zuzanna Berendt writes of the installation Live Factory 2: Warhol by Lupa at the MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (opening: 14.03.2016), which takes the set design used in the play Factory 2, directed by Krystian Lupa (Stary Theater in Krakow) into the permanent exhibition. The author focuses on the consequences of adapting the theater space to the conditions of the gallery, with particular attention to where the set design has been changed to fit the principles of the museum. Berendt also writes of the opening as a moment when the actors who had once created a fantasia on the theme of Andy Warhol’s New York Factory entered the space of the set in costume for the last time.
Anna Duda. In Search of a Shared Field
Anna Duda describes the final edition of the Body Constitution workshop program (Jerzy Grotowski Institute in Wrocław, 2-10.04.2016). She outlines the various blocks, showing their educational benefits, such as sensitizing the participant to body consciousness and the need for direct communication (capoeira), or demonstratin movement as a way of reshaping the past to the needs of the present (Jozef Fruck’s presentation). Duda notes the social nature of the workshops, joining the participants through a community of values and principles in their methods, work conditions, and ways of communicating. The project as a whole is an attempt to find a link between various fields of acting techniques and the theory devoted to them.
Monika Kwaśniewska. A Counter Perspective
The point of departure for this report on the 51st Counterpoint Retrospective of Small Theatrical Forms in Szczecin (15-24.04.2016) is the verdict of the jurors and the audience. Kwaśniewska uses these to draw hypothetical conclusions on popular criteria for evaluating plays. Without undermining these, shes attempts to take a somewhat different perspective. Analyzing Wars I Did Not Survive byAgnieszka Jakimiak (script) and Weronika Szczawińska (director), Deep Dish by Liquid Loft, and notallwhowanderarelost by Benjamin Verdonck, she wonders if “their equivocal message (suspended between meaning and the abstract), and above all, their unusual strategies for communicating with the audience and – in terms of the two foreign productions – their disruption of an anthropocentric vision of the world,” made them festival “failures” (only Verdonck’s play was mentioned in the verdict).
Weronika Łucyk. Teatricality – In Other Words?
This article is a report on the 10th In Out Festival (Łaźnia Contemporary Art Center in Gdańsk, 23-24.04.2016), devoted to the concept of theatricality. The project curator’s intentions are shown as posing open-ended questions about how to make video art theatrical, and the function of the theater and theatricality for visual artists. The author appreciates Katarzyna Swiniarska’s Digressive Identity project as an attempt to find the dramatic potential in archival materials. Łucyk sees the artist as finding an interesting way to problematize the issue of her identity, exploring the relationships between being in a role and the consciousness of being observed. Łucyk believes that, in some cases, theatricality can manifest itself as a tool for waving away reality, enabling people from various social spheres to work together.
Beata Kustra. Confrontations in Words
Beata Kustra describes the 41st Opole Polish Classics Theater Confrontations (5-10.04.2016). She outlines the extensive festival program and the arrangement of the space of the Kochanowski Theater in Opole for many parallel activities, largely focusing on the choices that festival viewers were forced to make. She also mentions the combination of this year’s edition of the festival with the Living Classics Competition for Staging Old Works of Polish Literature, and comments on the appointment of two separate teams of jurors – one from society, the other made up of journalists and critics. She then depicts the dramaturgy of the word and the adaptation strategies of the competition entries, giving a full description of Jacek Głomb’s production of The Self-appointed Czar.
Liliana Hermetz. “Oh come Bitter Lamentations, pierce our hearts”
A report on the seventh edition of the Bitter Lamentations Festival (Center for the Thought of John Paul II in Warsaw; 10.02 – 20.03.2016; festival directors: Redbad Klijnstra and Paweł Dobrowolski), titled “New Epiphanies.” Liliana Hermetz briefly outlines the structure and premises of the festival and how it operates in the space of Warsaw. Then she analyzes a few theater and performance events: The Sign of Jonah by Paweł Passini, sad to sit in your chair while they’re dreaming up wars by Jarosław Tumidajski, The Last Supper by Jakub Kamieński and the Supermarket Group, Red Carpet by Mirek Kaczmarek, and Mystery Playby Igor Gorzkowski. Summing up, she concludes that: “Using a variety of aesthetics and with varying degrees of success, the artists inquired into the human condition and into the challenges man has to face.”
Teresa Fazan. Joining Points in Space
Teresa Fazan writes of the exhibition Reference Systems: Choreography from the Museum, curated by Katarzyna Słoboda and Mateusz Szymanówka (Art Museum in Łódź, 5.04 – 8.05.2016). For this exhibition, nine choreographers created interactive installations in exhibition halls, in which they carried out performative projects during museum opening hours for one week. Fazan points out the consequences of situating choreographic activities in a gallery space and analyzes the status of an installation abandoned by its artists after week-long activities. In the second part of the text the author describes three of the nine projects: Marta Ziółek’s room devoted to archivalia, Agata Siniarska’s installation investigating the physical status of the performer, and Iza Szostak’s work that reflects upon intimacy.
Karolina Wycisk. The Production Process from Way Up Close
Writing on the 12th German Dance Platform (Tanzplattform Deutschland) in Frankfurt, taking place between 2 and 6 March 2016, Karolina Wycisk has a close look at: On Trial Together byAna Vujanović and Saša Asentić, Until Our Hearts Stop by Meg Stuart, Violent Events by Verena Billinger and Sebastian Schulz, Triadische Ballet by theBayerisches Staatsballett ensemble, and Aerobics! A Ballet in 3 Acts byPaula Rosolen. Analyzing the discussion in some projects with the production system of dance performances, she draws inspiration from the festival program and from reflections by Bojana Kunst in her text The Economy of Proximity: Dramaturgical Work in Contemporary Dance.
Tomasz Fryzeł. Slaughter
Tomasz Fryzeł reviews the play Phèdre(s) directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski (Odéon – Théâtre de l'Europe in Paris, premiere: 17.03.2016). Fryzeł points out that the multiplicity of texts that inform the play cause the co-existence of many different narratives on stage within a single character – Phèdre. The author interprets the part based on Wajdi Mouawad as a mythological anti-history in which the evaluation of the character takes place from Phèdre’s perspective. Fryzeł sees the second part, based on Sarah Kane’s Love of Phèdre, as a critique of Western civilization. In the third part, staged as a television interview, Phèdre becomes Elisabeth Costello from the novels of J. M. Coetzee. The critic notes that quotes fromRacine’s Phèdre allow Warlikowski to take a critical standpoint against the French tradition of staging this drama and the interpretation of the main protagonist.
Maria Delimata. Meaning Lost in a Bloodbath
A review of the play Cleansed based on the work by Sarah Kane, directed by Katie Mitchell (Dorfman Theatre in London, premiere: 23.02.2016). Maria Delimata points out the production’s naturalistic and literal approach, dominated by scenes of physical and sexual violence, which audiences have a hard time receiving. Delimata observes that the changing pace of the actors’ movements is important here, as it allows the audience to focus on details and encourages emotional involvement. She also perceives the allusions to the Islamic State, through making masked men the initiators of the brutal acts of terror. According to the reviewer, Mitchell is exploring the human condition in extreme moments, and what happens to us when we gain full control over another person.
Marcin Bogucki. Persona: Sikorski
Marcin Bogucki reviews the play Holzwege directed by Katarzyna Kalwat (TR Warszawa, 15.01.2016). Bogucki notes the significance of the surrealist poster, which corresponds to the peculiar form of Marta Sokołowska’s drama about Tomasz Sikorski, composed of paradoxes and contradictory opinions. The author stresses the liberal approach to the text, fragments of which are used as material for the actors’ improvisations. The author compares the reconstruction of the narrative to Krystian Lupa’s Persona diptych – apart from problematizing the motif of the artist, both productions mix private life and art, and feature intense performances based on the private lives of the main actors.
Diana Poskuta-Włodek. Factomontage
Diana Poskuta-Włodek reviews the book A Factomontage of Leon Schille: Social Politics in the People’s Poland. Potassium Cyanide. Cry, China!, edited by Anna Kuligowska-Korzeniewska (Zbigniew Raszewski Theater Institute, Warsaw 2015). The author begins with a brief outline of the idea and concept of Leon Schiller’s theater, then moves on to a presentation of the texts in the book. She believes that the press excerpts, photographs, and contemporaneous reviews contained in Factomontage… make for a parallel narrative of the publication. Poskuta-Włodek formulates the thesis that the book “is not a textbook for the history of the Polish political theater of the 20th and 21st centuries,” but a montage of facts that remain pertinent.
Piotr Dobrowolski. Hype, Collage, Deconstruction
An analysis of the Transfer! Texts for Theater anthology(Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej, Warsaw 2015), edited by Joanna Krakowska. Piotr Dobrowolski concludes that the selected texts are often an adaptation or compilation of various literary sources, as well as paraphrases, reworkings, and pastiches of other texts from the world of culture. Dobrowolski feels that reading this publication lets one glimpse the vague and unspoken assumptions behind recent theater literature, and its tendency to reconstruct. He admires the high standard of the texts chosen for the anthology, which, according to the author, fills a major gap in the popularization and promotion of Polish theater writing.
Elżbieta Rybicka. Syn(aesthesia) in Action
A review of Mateusz Chaberski’s book The (Syn)aesthetic Experience: Performative Aspects of Site-specific Productions (Księgarnia Akademicka, Krakow 2015). The author believes that Chaberski is skilled in explaining the difference between a vision-centric cognitive framework in the theater and the experience of a viewer of site-specific work. Rybicka also mentions that the author involves research on the performative archive and on such phenomena as bio art and techno art.