Balladyna. Tadeusz Kantor.
Original Photo of the Polish Clandestine Avant-Garde Theater of Tadeusz Kantor


(Kraków): (1943). Original, vintage, black and white photograph, most likely by Witold Witaliński. 175 × 235 mm. Notes in pencil on recto. In good condition.

Showing Marcin Wenzel as Filon, and the avant-garde stage design and costumes of Juliusz Słowacki’s play “Balladyna”, directed by Tadeusz Kantor, staged on 22–24 May, 1943 in Krakow.

Tadeusz Kantor (1915–1990) was a revolutionary Polish avant-garde artist and theatre director. During the Nazi occupation of Poland Kantor founded the clandestine “Teatr Niezależny” (Independent Theatre), where the first play he directed was “Balladyna”, an ironically tragic romantic folk-tale which tells a story of a country girl whose craving for power, plus a multitude of crimes allows her to reach the royal throne. With this play “the abstract forms invaded the stage. For Kantor, this romantic ballad was perfect for exploring the tension between the avant-garde traditions and Polish national myths at the time when Poland was under Nazi occupation. As he noted, ‘The reality was so absurd that most of us turned toward abstract painting, and our first spectacle, that is Balladyna, was an abstraction. It was a translation of Słowacki’s romanticism into abstract concepts of the Bauhaus. In the production, I used geometric forms, such as a circle, a square, an angle and materials such as sheet metal, tar paper, and woolen cloth’.” [Kobialka 2009.]

[Kobialka, Michal: Further on, nothing. Tadeusz Kantor's theatre. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2009.; Witt, Noel: Tadeusz Kantor. London - New York, Routledge, 2010.]


Price: €1,500.00

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