Tadeusz Kantor. Spectres

permanent event

  • permanent event

FROM JUNE 12, 2020

“The world found itself closer to death than life, and, by some analogy, closer to poetry […] Anything could happen. The borders of time got blurred”, Tadeusz Kantor, whose life was marked by two world wars, wrote in 1944.

In what ways did general history influence the artist's work? How does history determine the development of art? And how does art representing a sense of threat determine the methods used to display it in the museum context and provoke reflection on the limits of our understanding and communication about difference, history, religion, and ourselves? Curators, Małgorzata Paluch-Cybulska and Michał Kobiałka, seek answer to these questions.

The new exhibition presents objects, props and costumes from Cricot 2 Theatre productions, which mostly had not been shown yet on the permanent exhibition. This time curators radically reject the chronological narrative employed in the previous displays. 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.

Due to the current circumstances, the number of visitors in the exhibition space is limited to four. The admission is free and the opening hours are Friday-Saturday, 10am-9pm, Sunday 10am-7pm.

Cricoteka Centre for Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor

ul. Nadwiślańska 2


Successive rounds of the permanent exhibition in the former power plant present the ideas central to the work of Tadeusz Kantor.

Tadeusz Kantor (1915–90) – one of the most important theatrical artists and reformers of the 20th century – chose Kraków as the place both to work and live in. Although the premieres of the legendary Cricot 2 Theatre were held in various European cities and the productions travelled the whole world, their director always returned to the city in the shadow of Wawel. Conscious of the significance of his artistic legacy, he set up “a living archive” here: the Cricoteka. After the death of the artist, the operations of the Cricot 2 might have been suspended, yet the Cricoteka continues to organise exhibitions, symposia, performances, workshops, and meetings, at the same time publishing materials devoted to Kantor’s art. Its home is the former power plant of Podgórze “wrapped” in a modern construction. The exhibition halls are suspended over the roof of the historical building, and the café situated on the top floor commands a panorama of the city, extending over the other side of the Vistula. One by one, the mutations of the permanent exhibition present the crucial ideas in the art of Tadeusz Kantor. Objects used in the theatre, props, sketches, photographs from the Cricoteka collection, and videos and recordings of productions accompanying them portray the successive stages in the development of his theatre. The temporary exhibitions of contemporary art organised here are references to the artist’s oeuvre.

The Gallery – Studio of Tadeusz Kantor at ul. Sienna 7, where the artist spent the last years of his life, is also part of Cricoteka. Visitors are welcome to the room that the artist made his home and place of work, and a gallery presenting the cycles of his drawings.

admission free

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