Tadeusz Kantor. Widma / Spectres


Kraków, Poland

Opening April 4, 2020

The world of this exhibition is the world after a disaster materialized here as a heap of scattered objects, machines and costumes from Cricot 2 Theatre productions. The curators, Magorzata Paluch-Cybulska and Michal Kobialka, radically reject the chronological narrative employed in the past displays at the Cricoteka reveal to the cracks in our world and in this museum space. They blur the boundaries of time and create a space open to new interpretations. In the post-catastrophic landscape, accumulated stage objects lose their independent status and develop new meanings.

The exhibition’s leading theme is the memory of the difficult past in both the personal and historical dimensions, as an idea clearly present in the artist’s work. While World War I was only a vague memory for Kantor, one shaped above all by the collective memory, his experience of World War II was fully conscious. It was the time of danger and destruction but simultaneously the time of creation that was forever marked by rebellion against the mechanisms that govern history.

The curators of the exhibition explore questions about the influence of history on the artist’s work, and on art itself. They ask how art which represents traumatic past or sense of impending danger may implicate the shape of its presentation in museums today.

Michal Kobialka presents opening remarks (English)

Michal Kobialka presents opening remarks (Polish)

Images from the Exhibition

Photos courtesy CRICOTEKA / Zbigniew Prokop, Krzysztof Kućma

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Cricoteka's Exhibition Guide










STAGING DIFFICULT PASTS is an AHRC funded project: Grant reference: AH/R006849/1