2015 marks 100 years since the birth of Tadeusz Kantor, one of the most significant European artists of the 20th Century. Kantor was born in the Galician village of Wielopole in 1915 and studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Krakow from 1934-1939. After graduation, he founded the Independent Theater - an underground theater that continued to be active in the cellars of Kraków during the Nazi occupation of Poland. In 1955, Kantor, along with a group of visual artists, formed the Cricot 2 theater, which toured widely and first became known in the United States through its performances at La MaMa E.T.C. in 1979. Perhaps best known for his notion of the Theater of Death exemplified by the 1975 production of The Dead Class, Kantor's prolific practice spanned set design, painting, directing, manifestos, and assemblages, and has had a profound influence on the theater and visual art worlds internationally.
Attention to Kantor has increased in the last decade, as his work prefigured contemporary trends in hybrid performance, manifesto forms, and performing objects. Like later directors such as Richard Foreman and Richard Maxwell, Kantor pioneered his own acting philosophy, often foregoing trained professionals onstage in favor of amateurs and friends. He became fascinated with altering the role of the actor from that of an agent to that of a machine or scenic element: the "Bio-object." He reduced his performers to props, while raising props to the level of performers, partly to convey the terrifying modern displacement of the subject.
Kantor's uncanny performance worlds can tell us much about the world we are just now learning to live in.
Below please find the links to our past programs devoted to Tadeusz Kantor.
The Inauguration of the TADEUSZ KANTOR CENTENNIAL at YALE UNIVERSITY and THE WATERMILL CENTER
February 5, 2015 - February 15, 2015
GROTOWSKI AND KANTOR
Monday, May 4, 2009
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: THE ART AND THEATER OF TADEUSZ KANTOR
Monday, January 26, 2009
SCREENINGS: TADEUSZ KANTOR'S THEATRE OF DEATH
Monday, November 10, 2008 - Sunday, November 16, 2008
Tadeusz Kantor in THEATERS OF MEMORY: ART AND THE HOLOCAUST
Sunday, November 9, 2008 - Sunday, February 1, 2009
POLISH ART 1955-1985
Friday, March 1, 2002 - Friday, May 31, 2002
More about Tadeusz Kantor
Share this event on your social media.