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“Sink” (“I Shall Never Return”, 1988)

The presented exhibit comes from the Qui non ci torno più [I Shall Never Return] play at the Cricot 2 Theatre created in Kraków and Milan in the years 1987–1988. The play’s premiere took place on 23 June 1988 at the Piccolo Teatro Studio in Milan. The plot of the play takes place in a tavern. There are metal tavern tables and stools on the stage. In the background a wall of smooth black cloth is set up in a semi-circle with the barely visible contours of four doors.

“Trolley” — prototype (“Let the Artists Die”, 1985)

Wózeczek stał się w spektaklu symbolem wspomnienia dzieciństwa. Czytamy w Przewodniku po spektaklu: „Idziemy ku przodowi w przyszłość, / równocześnie zagłębiając się w rejony / PRZESZŁOŚCI, czyli ŚMIERCI. (...) / Siedzę na scenie, / JA — rzeczywisty, lat 70... / nigdy już nie stanę się na nowo / chłopcem, gdy miałem 6 lat... / wiem o tym, ale pragnienie jest / nieprzeparte, / nieustanne, / napełnia całe moje istnienie... / W drzwiach zjawia się / MAŁY ŻOŁNIERZYK — dziecko / JA — GDY MIAŁEM 6 LAT, / na dziecinnym wózeczku / (na moim wózeczku!)”.

“Pillories of characters” (“Let the Artists Die”, 1985)

The “pillories” are extremely characteristic objects from the Niech sczezną artyści [Let the Artists Die] play at the Cricot 2 Theatre. The play had its premiere in Alte Giesserei in Nürnberg on 2 June 1985. The “pillories” appear in act III of the play and become the key objects with which the later stage plot, right to the epilogue in act V, is associated.

“Window” (“Wielopole, Wielopole”, 1980)

The role of this object is in the play is double. On the one hand, a window opens Room of Childhood on the outside, allows the penetration of other spaces. Just as it was in the play The Dead Class (1975). The window is an unusual object that separates us from the world the other side, from» unknown «... of Death ...

“Rat trap” (“I Shall Never Return”, 1988)

The presented exhibit comes from the Qui non ci torno più [I Shall Never Return​] play at the Cricot 2 Theatre created in Kraków and Milan in the years 1987–1988. The play’s premiere took place on 23 June 1988 at the Piccolo Teatro Studio in Milan. The plot of the play takes place in a tavern. There are metal tavern tables and stools on the stage. In the background a wall of smooth black cloth is set up in a semi-circle with the barely visible contours of four doors.

“The Cross” (“Wielopole, Wielopole”, 1980)

The “Cross” is a stage element from the Wielopole, Wielopole performance at the Cricot 2 Theatre. The premiere took place in Florence in June 1980 in a building that was formerly a monastery at 25 via Santa Maria. What is symptomatic here is that, apart from the discussed cross, the Wielopole, Wielopole play featured 15 other crosses, and in his entire theatrical oeuvre Tadeusz Kantor created more than 30 crosses.

“Mechanical cradle” (“The Dead Class”, 1975)

The Mechanical cradle is an exhibit from Tadeusz Kantor’s performance, Umarła klasa [The Dead Class]. The premiere took place in the Krzysztofory Gallery in Kraków in November 1975. It comprises a wooden chest on a metal support frame, which resembles a child’s cradle. It was designed to enable the rocking movement of the chest. This movement could be triggered with a pedal, or with an installed electrical engine. Inside the exhibit, there were two wooden balls that caused a hollow rattle when they hit the chest walls during the rocking movement...

“Door” (“Let the Artists Die”, 1985)

Door are a key element of the play Let the Artists Die of Cricot 2 Theater. The premiere was held at the Alte Giesserei in Nuremberg June 2, 1985 year. Place of action is CEMETERY WAREHOUSE the door opens DOORMAN (ONCE UPON A TIME, HAD THE NAME OF CHARON, CARRIER OF THE DEAD). Composition, referring explicitly to the earlier of five years play Wielopole, Wielopole, turns into a room where lasts, constantly renewed, short daily activities.

“Camera/Mr Daguerre’s invention” (“Wielopole, Wielopole”, 1980)

Kantor observed some analogy between photography and shooting, between a group posing for a photograph and a group of recruits lined up in a row. This field of association was used in one of the images from Wielopole, Wielopole, a performance that continued the themes/motifs from Umarła klasa [The Dead Class].

Jadwiga Sawicka, “HONOURABLE / disloyal”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact. The choice of words has been thought of carefully. They are all related to current ideological and patriotic discussions. Gender play is an additional device to manipulate meanings. The same adjective has different connotations depending on whether it is feminine or masculine.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “MADE IN POLAND / foreign”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact. The choice of words has been thought of carefully. They are all related to current ideological and patriotic discussions.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “NATIONAL / exclusive”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “Ojczysty / Macierzysta”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “ETHNICALLY PURE / national”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact. The choice of words has been thought of carefully. They are all related to current ideological and patriotic discussions.

Jadwiga Sawicka, “IMPIOUS / infamous”

From the mass of thickly laid off paint, there emerge words taken out of context and deliberately crooked. The clash between the background and the semantic content enhances the impact.

KwieKulik, “Actions with a Tube”

The series of photographs is a record of one of numerous actions that the two artists carried out in their own flat. It took place in August 1975, with the participation of Przemysław Kwiek’s sister Zofia Kulik and the artists’ son – Maksymilian Dobromierz. A cardboard tube was the centre of the action. It had been made to order as an advertising prop; after the action it went to the client.

Laura Pawela, “we.jpg 17%”

The convention of computer commands and terms transferred to an existential area. A clash of computer language with real-world problems. An amusing, but at the same time unpleasant, discrepancy between the two worlds.

Paweł Susid, untitled [“Ladies and you girls, in bathroom and the lavatory you touch places that are dear to us”]

Template texts contrast with simple, geometric forms. Apparently banal statements, with ironically erotic undertones, are an invitation to attempt their in-depth analysis so as to expose the social and cultural contexts.

Piotr Lutyński, “Due to Usucaption”

One of Lutyński’s works using the motif of a nest and an egg – a symbol of birth, of new life, a beginning and a sense of security. A witty attempt to combine usucaption and brooding.

Tomasz Bajer, “Minimalism of Guantanamo”

The work is an accurate replica of Yasser Talal al Zahrani’s prison cell at the American detention camp for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Saudi prisoner died in 2006. The official cause of death was given as suicide. However, an examination by an independent pathologist showed traces of repeated beating, which could be indicative of torture. The work can be interpreted as a commentary on the abuse of human rights by imperialist powers, and the individual’s helplessness in the face of such behavior.