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- Author Tadeusz Kantor
- Date of production 1985
- Dimensions height: 232 cm, width: 135 cm, depth: 92 cm
- ID no. CRC/VII/332/1-3
- Object copyright The Cricoteka Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor
- Digital images copyright © all rights reserved, The Cricoteka Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums project
In fact, it is both of them in the cycle of interpenetrating clichés. In the programme of the spectacle, the artist defines the main building material of the performance as follows:
“Not: a place of action defined by the scene, but: overlapping MEMORY CLICHÉS / recalled from the FUTURE, / impersonating into present, appearing out of the blue. They mix objects, people, situations ... and in this crazy practice, lose any logic existing in life (...).”
The construction of the clichés is associated with the character of Tadeusz Kantor, who introduces himself to the list of “the people of the drama“ in several dimensions. Firstly, I, the real figure, the main perpetrator of everything, TADEUSZ KANTOR, refers to the character of the artist present on the stage during the performance as an active observer, undertaking appropriate corrections. He sat mostly on a chair at the side of the stage. In rare moments, when he could not be present during the show, mainly due to illness, a sign with the inscription, “Kantor“, was hung on his chair. The actors on stage turned towards him.
Secondly, he appears on stage as a little boy — “WHEN I WAS 6 YEARS OLD“— presenting memories of his childhood in the form of clichés . In the next area, there is a confrontation between the past and the future. Thus, Kantor presents himself as a dying person (the novel by Zbigniew Uniłowski, Shared room, in which the reader is a witness of the hero of the song dying, was a direct inspiration).
The artist wanted dying to become a theme of Let the Artists Die, so that “it would be a ‘binder’, combining various symptoms of life, almost becoming the s t r u c t u r e of the spectacle“.
In the performance, Let the Artists Die, a huge part was played by the door during the artist’s recalling of the past and its projection on the stage. It was made of aged wood, in the aesthetics of “the lowest rank“, characteristic of the entire performance. It was placed in the middle of a wall of black canvas, marking the shape of the stage.
The Door rose from the wardrobe, which originally was to house the Mariacki Altar. Originally, the altar – designed by Kantor as an expression of polemics with the work of Veit Stoss from St. Mary’s Basilica – was to be located in the closet. While working on the performance, wooden props and constructions, that were supposed to maintain the saints’ poses in the altar, were transformed into medieval pillars and moved from the wardrobe to the stage. The altar in the closet was supposed to have beem built to bring the pathetic concept of the altar to the reality of everyday life (initially Wit Stwosz was presented as an ordinary craftsman, sawing the elements of the altar). Finally, it was created from this wardrobe – the key object in the spectacle Let the Artists Die.
All of the characters, along with the objects, went through the door – both one way and the other. Their role (similar to that of the door in the performance Wielopole, Wielopole) could be compared to a function of school desks in The Dead Class:
They were like a bearing (matrice), from which something new, unexpected was born, something that for a time tried to go beyond the benches, into this black and empty space, and something that was coming back and kept away from them each time as if it was the home ... .
Along with the cyclical opening/closing of the door, new scenes appeared, and the characters and situations known to us came back, mixing clichés and themes with each other. Crossing the threshold of the door was related to a change in status, introducing a different quality.
The concept of a “Poor Room of Imagination“ had already crystallized in the performance, Niech sczezną artyści [Let the Artists Die], Cricot 2 Theatre (1985), where the place of action was defined by the artist as a borderland of dream regions – infernum – the world of the dead, eternity, and today. The idea was initiated in the spectacle Wielopole, Wielopole, where the artist reconstructed his “Room from Childhood“ on stage (see: the window from the performance Wielopole, Wielopole). Kantor combined this idea with his room – a studio at 7/5 Sienna Street – where he worked from 1987).
Elaborated by Małgorzata Paluch-Cybulska (The Cricoteka Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor), © all rights reserved
 T. Kantor, Klisze, [in:] T. Kantor, Pisma, Vol. III: Dalej już nic... Teksty z lat 1985–1990, elab. K. Pleśniarowicz, Wrocław–Kraków 2004–2005, p. 24;
 T. Kantor, Sfera śmierci, [in:] T. Kantor, Pisma, Vol. III: Dalej już nic... Teksty z lat 1985–1990, elab. K. Pleśniarowicz, Wrocław–Kraków 2004–2005, p. 12;
 T. Kantor, Ławki w „Umarłej klasie”, [in:] T. Kantor, Pisma. Vol. 2: Teatr Śmierci. Teksty z lat 1975-1984, elab. K. Pleśniarowicz, Wrocław-Kraków 2004, p. 404.