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- Author Andrzej Wajda
- Date of production 1991
- Dimensions height: 21.2 cm, width: 30 cm, thickness: 1.6 cm
- Pages 87
- ID no. MSITJM1317
- Availability at the exhibition to 9 November 2014
- Object copyright The Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology
- Digital images copyright all rights reserved, The Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Małopolska's Virtual Museums Plus project
Directors’ journals usually include unique notes concerning the production of a film or performance. They are notebooks in which all essential information is recorded – from their thoughts about the interpretation, suggestions for the arrangement of stage movements to the list of actors together with their telephone numbers. For the reader, it can be a treasury of knowledge on a stage or film adaptation of a work and offer an insight on the director's method of working. The presented journal of Andrzej Wajda is a record of his work on The Wedding by Stanisław Wyspański, which was staged in the Stary Theatre in Kraków in 1991.more
Directors’ journals usually include unique notes concerning the production of a film or performance. They are notebooks in which all essential information is recorded – from their thoughts about the interpretation, suggestions for the arrangement of stage movements to the list of actors together with their telephone numbers. For the reader, it can be a treasury of knowledge on a stage or film adaptation of a work and offer an insight on the director's method of working. The presented journal of Andrzej Wajda is a record of his work on The Wedding by Stanisław Wyspański, which was staged in the Stary Theatre in Kraków in 1991. While looking through its pages, one can trace the development of the project from the idea of the performance to its premiere. It starts with a black and white reproduction of the painting Zaloty (The Courtship) by Włodzimierz Tetmajer, the subject of which is the introduction of a wedding. Then it is followed by notes, including general guidelines on the performance which was created during a heated period of societal transformation in Poland. This was a time when the comparison between Poles and the guests on that 1901 night of the cottage in Bronowice gained further, additional meaning. A separate page contains a clearly defined assumption:
“...hence, to look for solutions
in details, but not those ideological ones,
so as to explain to the audience what this all is about;
to follow the secret,
the strangeness of the events, the appeal of the text
and the situation.
Particularly as this is the only kind of a performance
I can present in the German language in Salzburg
and this is what Stein expects from us.”
Then it is followed by a sequence of rewritten scenes. Fragments of the play are accompanied by sketches explaining the arrangement of actors and props on stage, and other particulars of the stage adaptation. Everything is written and drawn with a pen and coloured with red ink in some places. On several pages, there are some traces of wash painting with a blue watercolour (shading and unequally applied paint so as to show the depth of perspective).While going through the subsequent pages, one can clearly see the way Andrzej Wajda thinks. Apart from quotations from The Wedding, each page includes illustrations of scenes and characters. Although words are used to explain things, pictures are of the highest importance. Among notes, some references to other authors can be found, for example, “The character of Apparition à la Mrożek”, or “And in an adaptation by Hanuszkiewicz, it was Siemion who played the Chochoł Straw Man and who animated Characters of the Play by dragging them with pegs out of the barn!”. Pasted between the pages is the programme of the performance Co się komu w duszy gra (What is in one's heart) based on The Wedding by Wyspiański, directed by Anna Polony on the stage of the Academy for the Dramatic Arts in 1991.
A series of drawings depicting the arrangement of the Bronowice house on the stage, as well as stage costumes of the play characters, is followed by the director's description of the “Chochoł Straw Man topic” with chosen fragments of the play and a summary:
“Animated sticks and a voice coming from behind the stage.
It is inadequate and lacks expression.
A guy wrapped up in straw,
who is supposed to be a rose bush, also raises concerns.
However, this character must be played by an actor,
it seems to be unavoidable”.
In a further section of the journal, Wajda analyses the theme of “The artist and his model”, using, among others, a cutting from a newspaper about a lost statue of Lech Wałęsa, which seems to be a point of departure for Wajda's thoughts.
Further on, some notes appear on the stage movement and technical drawings, with details concerning particular scenes gathered from performance rehearsals. Among them, dates of planned trips can be found together with meetings arranged in the form of a private calendar, followed by another reflection on The Wedding:
“Today it is difficult for me to understand
how it is possible.
Several years ago I believed The Wedding
to be a brilliant stage idea, but poorly written.
It is a wonder I was ever thinking about making it into a film:
‘Yes, but new dialogues must be written.’
Whereas now, while creating scene after scene,
I let myself be inspired by Wyspiański's beautiful words.
I make this Wedding not to create an adaptation,
but because of those verses that carry the thoughts,
that run with the subject, and work even greater magic
than Chochoł's spells”.
Next to this remark, there is a note presenting the director's point of view:
“The Wedding gives less freedom
to its producers than its appears on first reading.
So many possibilities, a lot of fantastic material,
and then everything
takes quite a traditional shape.
Definitely, The Wedding has not met a director yet
who would be equal to the Author's imagination,
and even excellent ideas kill
the poetry of The Wedding with ease”.
The journal was kept to the end – to the premiere. In the journal, Andrzej Wajda noted his various thoughts – from technical notes concerning scene time to reflections on the condition of the Polish theatre.
It is a rare opportunity to familiarise oneself with a director's working methods by accompanying him on his process of creating a working adaptation. The archive of the Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology includes other journals that the director created during his work on other projects.
Elaborated by Aleksandra Görlich (The Manggha Centre of Japanese Art and Technology), editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved