Issue 2008/2 (281) - Konteksty

Zbigniew Benedyktowicz 3
Katarzyna Batko, Irena Godyń, Justyna Masłowiec, Halina Sadecka 4
Czesław Robotycki The “Province” from an Anthropological Point of View. A Reflection from the Perspective of Cultural Communication Dilemmas 7

The terms “province” and “provincial” describe not only a place but also a state of mind or culture. An analysis of the semantic field of this concept indicates its contradictory associations and annotations. The contemporary communication-related organisation of society renders the term in question less useful for anthropological analyses. Peripheral environments and their culture are better described by the “local quality”, universally applied in anthropology ad sociology. Today, the ”province” is a category encountered in the belles letters, where it shall remain.

Zbigniew Benedyktowicz “Coming Back Home. The Italian Experience of Tarkovski and Kantor” 14

The topic of the presentation is an analysis of the specific perception of Europe by two great artists from the East: Andrei Tarkovski (Nostalghia 1983) and Tadeusz Kantor (Wielopole, Wielopole, 1980, a theatrical spectacle staged as part of the Florentine programme at Teatro Regionale Toscano, Florence). The motif of the return home is inscribed into the Italian cultural landscape and experiences. The next problem is the inclusion of local, own cultural tradition into the universal entity. Both works share the motif of coming back home, nostalgia, the experiencing of the province, an epiphany of poor reality, and the significance of “lowest rank regions”. Analysing the structure of those motifs and imagery as well as their concurrence with the essence of the symbol (a confirmation of identity, a token) the author considers the message contained in both visions – cinematic and theatrical – and its meaning for the contemporary European dialogue. This is a meaning concurrent with the ideas of an anthropological- cultural and European insight, aimed at searching for, and discovering unity in diversity.

Dariusz Czaja The Paradox of the Province 28

The point of departure for this article is composed of two brief texts by Federico Fellini and Slawomir Mrożek referring to the phenomenon of the province. Upon their example the author depicted the titular paradox of the province: the fact that in order to actually perceive the province and put it to creative use one must abandon it and view it from a temporal and spatial distance. In this artistic phenomenology of the province the myth of departure encounters the myth of the return. In both texts the province reveals itself as a true and animating source of creativity.

Leszek Tyboń Returns 34

The author of this succinct article, fascinated with local communities in the Land of Sandomierz , intended to demonstrate the manner in which they faced the necessity of defining their future in altered conditions.

Bogdan Białek The Province – between the Backwater and the Sticks. The Confessions of a Province Dweller 36

”It is worth knowing where the boundary between the metropolis and the province, the backwater and the sticks actually runs” – wrote the author while analysing the problem of the centre and the periphery during the ”In Praise of the Province” session. In doing so, he proposed abandoning a division into that which is central, i. e. connected with the great agglomeration, and that which is provincial, i. e. located outside the city. The era of globalisation coincides with a decline of the institution of the traditional province, which is actually situated within ourselves, similarly to an awareness of the centre of the world in which we reside. It is strictly up to us whether we live in the ”sticks”, which the author considers to be dull and encumbered with complexes, or whether we live in the very centre, emphasising that which is essential for our daily life and enhancing its value.

Wiesław Szpilka My Province 40

The metropolis and the province are the figures of an existential situation rather than a description of material reality. It is not surprising, therefore, that the same place may be evaluated differently. A black hole where all is lost will become a territory full of life. The accounts by Andrzej Stasiuk portraying a Europe from the very peripheries of the world show just how radical such a reversal can be. Focused on the opposition of interest to us, we continue to labour on the demarcation of the actual boundary between its components. The metropolis and the province, life and death, the intense and the weak, the dark and the lucid, the open and the closed, the happening and the recollected, all these categories introduce order into reality but also conceal and, even more so, lose an existence that cannot be expressed with their assistance. The continuum, transition, enclosure, and otherness of the same, as well as the horrendum of the metropolis- province comprise the flaw of ethnographic reflection closely adhering to life and experiencing reality.

Natalia Zarzecka, Andrzej Wajda, Maria Stangret-Kantor, Janusz Palikot, Agnieszka Morawińska, Piotr Kłoczowski, Małgorzata Dziewulska, Filip Chodzewicz Umarła klasa The Dead Class by Tadeusz Kantor and Kadysz Kaddish by Jan Kott 45

A register of a conversation held at the Warsaw "Zachęta" Galery about a new edition of Jan Kott's book on Tadeusz Kantor as well as Andrzej Wajda's DVD version of the spectacle Umarła klasa.

Andrzej Wajda I was Tadeusz Kantor’s Assistant 59

The director described how for a single day he became Tadeusz Kantor’s assistant while recording the spectacle Umar? a Klasa (Dead Class). Concluding, he reflects that an assistant may be a genius creating all that the director conceives but he will never receive his due praise.

Natalia Zarzecka Towards Florence . The Discovery of Traces. Tadeusz Kantor and the Cricot 2 Theatre Abroad 1968-80 60

The text recounts the beginnings of the foreign career of the Cricot 2 Theatre and its founder, Tadeusz Kantor. The author recalled the localities of the first tours abroad and the artist’s other performances, together with the persons and festivals that contributed to his growing popularity as well as that of his company in Italy and the United Kingdom . The reader accompanies Kantor on his artistic journeys, starting with International Artists Meetings in Vela Luka (Yugoslavia, 1968) and successive tournées In Italy, France and England (Kurka wodna /The Water Hen/, Rome 1969, Nancy and Paris 1971, Edinburgh1972; Nadobnisie i koczkodany /Beauties and Baboons/, Edinburgh 1973 and Rome and Paris 1974, Umarla klasa /The Dead Class/, Rome 1978) to recollections of the artist’s happenings performed outside Cricot 2, although sometimes involving actors from his company (Szafa / Wardrobe/ after Witkacy’s W malym dworku /In a Small Manor House/, Baden-Baden 1966, a series of happenings shown in Bled in 1969 and recorded in D. Mallow’s film Säcke, Schrank und Schirm, participation at I Atelier International des Recherchés Théâtrales in Dourdan near Paris, 1971). The article makes special mention of Achille Perilli and Richard Demarco, who continued the presentation of the Tadeusz Kantor Theatre, and the exhibitions accompanying the theatre’s performances abroad. The author discussed more extensively the Florence Programme (1979/1980), which led to a new spectacle: Wielopole, Wielopole (premiere in Florence on 23 June 1980), as well as assorted recent art undertakings (exhibitions, publications, symposia), making it possible to take a closer look at the breakthrough in the history of the Cricot 2 Theatre, which, as it later became apparent, inaugurated the last decades of its activity.

Anna Królica The Actor’s Bodily Expression in the Tadeusz Kantor Theatre of Death in the Perspective of Theatrical Dance 71

An attempt at comparing the Pina Bausch Tanztheater Wuppertal with the works of Tadeusz Kantor from the period of the Theatre of Death, examined from the vantage point of work with the actor, direction methods, the structure of the spectacle, and the rejection of the categories of time and plot. The central theme, however, is the actor, who by rejecting verbal expression communicates with the spectators primarily by resorting to his body and physical presence. The actors’ body articulates assorted emotions by means of controlled tension. Similar techniques of the “use” of the body are discernible in Chaplin’s silent movies and modern dance from the early twentieth century. The corporal form of expression appears to be quite natural for theatrical dance, and in this case – for the Pina Bausch Tanztheater, but such an interpretation of the problem within the context of Kantor’s work appears to be a new and tempting research aspect.

Joanna Jopek The Returns of Odysseus 76

“This is a theatre, and not a private flat! This is a private flat but also a theatre!”. Words uttered in the second half of the spectacle On. Drugi powrót Odysa (He. The Second Return of Odysseus) focus on three important themes of the last production staged by Jerzy Grzegorzewski: turning the boundary between the private and the “political” in art into a problem, indicating the meta-theatrical dimension of the spectacle and, finally, referring to a concrete experience and historical moment. In June 1944 Tadeusz Kantor showed Powrót Odysa (The Return of Odysseus) in a private flat in 3 Grabowskiego Street in Cracow at the time of the German occupation. The presented sketch is an attempt at following Kantor’s traces in the Jerzy Grzegorzewski staging and at discovering an answer to several questions: what links Powrót Odysa from 2005 with the version from 1944? What is the significance of the drama and Wyspiański? Finally – probably the most important question of all – why did Kantor act as the patron of such a difficult and bold declaration, intent on settling accounts?

Małgorzata Szczurek Andrzej Wajda. Ethnographic Remnants. An Exhibition 80

The author describes an exhibition held at the Ethnographic Museum in Cracow , showing the less known side of Andrzej Wajda – his connections with ethnography. The exhibits originate from assorted periods in the director’s life and display his years-long interests, initiated by a meeting with Prof. Roman Reinfuss, who collected and catalogued valuable art works that survived the war in the environs of Cracow and in the region of Podhale.

Andrzej Wajda Ethnographic Remnants 82

Andrzej Wajda wrote about his first contacts with Polish folk art, cooperation with Prof. Reinfuss, which left a trace in the form of two documentary films about folk art (Ceramika iłżecka / Pottery from Iłża/1951/ and Zaproszenie do wnętrza /Invitation Inside/, 1978) as well as notes from many museums all over the world, where he drew interesting exhibits.

Bogdana Pilichowska The Ethnographic Notes by Andrzej Wajda 86

While attending film courses Andrzej Wajda did not foresee himself as a director of feature films but considered the grotesque cinema and educational movies. The author recalls the director’s notes from 1948, made during his stay in Iłża, which he then used for his first documentary film Ceramika iłżecka (Pottery from Iłża, 1951). She also recalls a list made by Wajda in 1952, entitled Projekty filmów dokumentalnych (Projects of documentary films), containing 19 titles with several ethnographic projects.

Bogdana Pilichowska Andrzej Wajda – Topics He Was Advised to Tackle. 1958–89 94

The article was based on letters preserved in the Andrzej Wajda Archive, containing proposals of assorted scenarios, themes and problems which the authors of the correspondence wished to bring to his attention. The first letter comes from 1958, and the last one – from this year. In view of the fact that it is simply impossible to discuss the whole collection in a brief article, B. Pilichowska selected examples from 1958–89. The year 1989 – a time of great changes in the life of Poland and the Poles – comprises a caesura involving a systemic transformation, an end to censorship, an opening onto the world, and new social problems, all vividly reflected in letters addressed to Andrzej Wajda. Archival folios entitled Proposals contain 168 letters from the examined period. The article intends to show the manner in which the Polish “average spectator” perceived Andrzej Wajda as an artist, a Pole and a person. The choice of the featured proposals omits men of letters and professional authors of screenplays, both Polish and foreign.

Michalina Lubaszewska ‘Small space cinema’ as an anthropological and mythological place. Literary and film images as the anthropological testimony. 102

The subject of this article is ‘small space cinema,’ which is situated in opposition to ‘large space cinema’ – the symbol of our times. In Marc Auge’s term ‘small space cinema’ is an anthropological place, which has its own identity, is symbolic and is able to create communion (or bonds) between the spectators during the projection. ‘Small space cinema’ refers to the tradition of cineclubs, which were founded in France in the 1920s and have all but disappeared. This type of cinema is not found in large numbers, but is quite popular because it is part of the contemporary ‘nostalgia’ for ‘retro’ things and places. In Roland Barthes’ interpretation, the ‘small space cinema’ is also a kind of ‘mythological’ place; this means that each element of the projection room (the screen, the seat, the darkness) has its own significance. Many depictions of ‘small space cinemas’ can be found in literature, poetry and film, which points to the anthropological and mythological character of these spaces. I call these works ‘anthropological testimonies.’ They all evoke common elements: a small space, coziness, privacy intimacy, the darkness; they have common functions: space for a date (also entertainment?) These literary, poetic, and filmic descriptions evoke the idea of the ‘small cinema’ as ‘home’ or ‘asylum’, which can be compared to the Gaston Bachelard’s theory of ‘oniric home’. The element of the darkness can be referred to as the ‘règime nocturne’ of Gilbert Durand. In the conclusion, the author returns to the three emblematic images of ‘small cinema’: Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso, Trenet’s Mon vieux cinè and K. I. Gałczyński’s poem Małe kina. These three examples simultaneously reinforce and create an ideal mythological and anthropological model of this kind of cinema. All of these images can be defined by the convention of kitsch which generally contribute to the popularity.

Antoni Kroh Working Intelligentsia 113

By introducing the reader to fragments of his family’s biography and describing his childhood experiences, the author pondered on a definition of the qualities of the elite and the intelligentsia. The latter term, essentially characteristic only for our post-partition and post-communist geographical region, is, together with its idealistic and useless dimension, forced to tackle daily reality.

Antoni Kroh Well-born 124

The author went on a literary journey to the past. Describing successive ”miraculous” escapes of assorted members of his family – a great grandfather almost hanged during a peasant rebellion, a grandfather saved from being lynched, and the author’s mother, who evaded a firing squad during the Second World War – he reached deep into the past. Nostalgically skimming over places and epochs, A. Kroh dusted off images of history. This proximity and intimacy of reminiscences features a past that comes alive and in the author’s account becomes outright palpable.

Małgorzata Omilanowska The Marian Sanctuary in Lichen: Architecture and Art as an Instrument of Historical, Religious and National Identification in Post-communist Poland  

The Marian sanctuary in Lichen is one of the most impressive phenomena associated with the cult of the Virgin Mary in Europe . Today, it is the second most frequented pilgrimage site in Poland after Jasna Gora in Częstochowa – an immense architectural-town planning-garden premise which emerged in slightly more than thirty years, centred around a gigantic millennial basilica, the largest church in Poland, the seventh largest in Europe and the eleventh in the world, erected in 12 years thanks to voluntary donations. For all practical purposes, the Lichen basilica violates every canon of architectural design, starting with Vitruvius, despite the fact that it indubitably tried to become part of a centuries-old tradition. The basilica’s architecture demonstratively refers to the past but at the same time disavows it by applying a strategy of pretence, characteristic for the category of kitsch. The basilica’s architect, Barbara Bielecka, envisioned her design as part of the centuries-old history of Mediterranean civilisation, to be compared to the only surviving wonder of the ancient world – the Cheops pyramid. She cherished a profound belief that she correctly deciphered and applied Biblical directives concerning the erection of temples. Her projects of the church, and the number of columns, porticos, orifices, chapels, etc., refer to numerology, combining various concepts and interpretations. An essential fragment of the project involves an attempt at evoking Polish national tradition by referring to associations with local nature, art and crafts. The gigantomanic architecture, glossy and featuring garish colours, frequently refers outright to art déco from the turn of the 1920s, while the interiors, full of marble, gilding and crystal chandeliers, bring to mind opulent hotels and exclusive residences straight out of Dallas or Denver, thus turning Lichen into a Catholic Las Vegas; equally justified are associations with Romanian socialist realistic architecture from the “late Ceausescu” era. The phenomenon of Lichen’s popularity consists in the fact that it ideally corresponds to the expectations harboured by droves of pilgrims from all over Catholic Poland. The aesthetic assessment expressed by a pilgrim touring Lichen is based on his personal experience, and within this category it matches his anticipations, becoming a synonym of lavishness and might, as well as evidence of generosity reaching the very boundaries of “the possible”. The popularity of Lichen is supported by a well-devised marketing strategy. The donors are commemorated by means of marble plaques (17 000 are featured on the walls of the lower church!), while the popularisation of Lichen involves, i. a. a system of special “excursions”, a method well-known in Europe and sponsored by firms distributing their products via direct sales. In accordance with the opinion voiced by Ms. Bielecka, claiming that “one simply cannot offer the Lord God something modernistic on His birthday”, the basilica has been planned as a postmodern work. It lacks, however, one of the most postmodern features, namely, a ”light-hearted” treatment of architecture. As a fitting offspring of its time, the basilica is an intentional reaction to modernism and, unrestricted by rules, it borrows from tradition; the only problem is that the books, guides and folders on its topic are so deadly serious. In his reflections on national identification Edensor defined the concept of the evocative site of popular culture and gatherings. In accordance with his definition, the Lichen sanctuary became a consciously meaningful site and, simultaneously, a place of popular culture created for Polish Catholics and enabling their identification with historical-messianic and Marian-religious myths, in this case treated as an indissoluble conglomerate and providing an unambiguous cultural source, making it feasible to reinforce national identity. By referring to folk religiosity suffused with a belief in miracles, Licheń is to act as an antidote against the contemporary world; at the same time, it is to turn the pilgrim away from that world by creating an enclave of Catholic religiosity and genuine Polishness envisaged as a remedy capable of curing all global ills. Lichen lacks anti-European Union propaganda or the obnoxious anti-Semitism so typical for Radio Maryja, and prefers a model of anachronistic religiosity. Its patriotism is intellectually and religiously enclosed, devoid of reflection and cramped; sadly, it corresponds to the predilections of a great number of the faithful and the clergy, thus abusing trust in the value of “folk Catholicism”.

Mikołaj Jewrieinow The Theatralisation of Life 140

In his essay The Theatralisation of Life (1915) Nikolai Evrieinov formulated a distinction of great value for studies on the theatre, demonstrating that every person possesses a „theatrical instinct” which compels him to perform a constant transformation that, in turn, leads to a theatralisation of life. The author sought proof for the theatrical character of our existence among the primeval peoples, in ancient Greece , the „savage” tribes of Africa, and the behaviour of certain animal species, as well as in fashion, entertainment, the army, politics, seventeenth-century Spain , or France under Louis XIV. His models of people capable of making perfect use of the merits of theatrical qualities include Napoleon, Catherine the Great and Suvorov. The Theatralisation of Life is more than merely a specific interpretation of the history of the theatre. The text is predominantly anthropological and philosophical: Evrieinov claimed that the theatre is the most primary form of art, closest to man. He also argued that it is theatralisation (in other words, transformation) and not aestheticisation, which constitutes the foundation of art.

Katarzyna Osińska The Evolution of Soviet Mass-scale Spectacles from 1917 to the 1930s 154

The point of departure for the titular theme of mass-scale spectacles in post-revolutionary Soviet Russia (and from 1922 – the Soviet Union ) are the differentiated and contradictory sources of this phenomenon. On the one hand, the latter referred to the concept of the “masses” which, according to its class interpretation, did not represent society as a whole but predominantly the proletariat, and in certain versions – exclusively the proletariat from highly industrialised factories and large cities. On the other hand, mass-scale spectacles emerged from pre-revolutionary idealistic conceptions of the renascence of culture via the rejection of individualism and a return to primary sources focused on the commune. These notions, inspired by views expounded by Nietzsche, were propagated and developed in Russia by Viacheslav Ivanov, the idea of “bogostroitelstvo”, which combined Marxism and religion (Lunacharsky, Alexandr Bogdanov, et al.) and the idea of “sobornost”, stemming from the Russian Orthodox movement and represented by, i. a. Nikolai Berdyaev. The first post-revolutionary years featured two discernible and mutually hostile tendencies in culture: the project of objectifying the proletariat, expressed in the idea of the “mass-scale theatre”, and, on the other hand, the “theatre for the masses”, according to which the masses were treated as an object and passive recipients, and art – as a tool of ideological indoctrination. The first project was developed chiefly upon the basis of the Proletcult. In a suitable sub-chapter the author recalls the polemic between Lenin and Proletcult ideologues, with special emphasis on the inner contradictions both within the Proletcult ideology and the stand represented by the Bolshevik party. A depiction of the Proletcult ideology in the domain of the theatre encompasses also its less known aspects (with reference to forgotten source material), such as the rejection of the copyright “fetish” (which rendered possible an unrestricted adaptation of the classics) and a new conception of the theatrical company: radical Proletcult theoreticians proposed a total abolition of the function of the director (who personified the old bourgeois system based on hierarchy) and his replacement by a collective. In the new theatre, as envisioned by Proletcult, the actor was to become the foremost expression of mass-scale and collective principles. The successive sub-chapters discuss assorted forms of the mass-scale theatre: amateur theatricals, the theatre in the armed forces, mass-scale performances (including the most famous Capture of the Winter Palace), communist rituals, political carnivals, as well as marches, parades and demonstrations from the 1930s. Examples of the spectacles and their descriptions come from Soviet texts (1918 – mid-1930s). The author brings the reader closer to the political context of the mass-scale spectacles, paying particular attention to the disputes waged by the Bolshevik party and avantgarde artists, and concerning the form of political propaganda and new culture in general. The article’s leitmotif concerns the evolution of mass-scale spectacles, from carnivals and theatrical shows based on the idea of activating the masses, to demonstrations and parades, which imposed a certain rigour upon the masses and expressed the might of the Soviet state.

Krzysztof Rutkowski Anthropogenesis and a Tick 176

Baron Uexküll was a greatly original thinker endowed with a sense of humour and cosmic imagination, who claimed to have kept an unfed tick absolutely isolated in laboratory conditions (the tick was unable to find a victim) for 18 years. The insect sank “into a state of anticipation”, a dream-like condition resembling the process of falling asleep experienced by us each night. Uexküll could not find an explanation for the tick’s longevity. He wrote that: “Time does not exist without the existence of a living organism”, and Agamben added: ”What happens to the tick and its world, asleep for 18 years? How is it possible for a living organism, whose life depends entirely upon ‘significant points’ to survive for so long while deprived of them? How can one speak about ‘waiting’ beyond time and the world?”.

Wiesław Szpilka A poor Ethnography 178

A commentary formulated from the present-day perspective and relating to a poll published in 1981 by the editors of ”Polska Sztuka Ludowa”. The author embarked upon an attempt an analysing the condition of contemporary ethnography.

Sławomir Sikora From the Viewpoint of a Ghanean Photographer 184

The film Future Remembrance. Photography and Image Arts in Ghana by Tobias Wendl and Nancy du Plessis (1998) proposes an interesting examination of the significance and condition of photography in Ghana at the turn of the 1980s. Its authors considered such issues as the comprehension of realism and truth in photographs as well as the rank of the photographer. Although the statements made by assorted photographers make it possible to include the understanding of the photographic image into such concepts as indistinguishability (H-G. Gadamer), in the author’s opinion they may be just as well treated as a special game played with realism, photography and reality.

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