press release

The exhibition Impossible Theatre presents the work of Tadeusz Kantor in the context of contemporary Polish art, of works by Katarzyna Kozyra, Pawel Althamer, Robert Kusmirowski and Artur Zmijewski. The concepts: theatre, reality presented and presenting, the problem of the intersection between art and life, the role and place of the artist as distinct from the work, and the artist as a creator and as an element of the spectacle form just some of the questions that have been interpreted in different ways by each of these artists. The exhibition does not aim to show formal similarities, or in other words to try to suggest a generally non-existent similarity and influence between Kantor and the young generation, but rather to present a common series of problems and questions through the differences between these artistic figures.

The exhibition curator, Sabina Folie, concentrates primarily on the theatrical or performative aspect in Kantor’s work, presenting objects from his plays, drawings for performances and film and photographic documentation. These are brought into correspondence with videos and performances by Katarzyna Kozyra (the latest stages of her project, In art dreams come true) and with a film by Artur ˚mijewski Singing Lesson 2, as well as with Pawel Althamer’s sculpture portraits and the action Pleinair involving the participation of the Zach´ta gallery attendants. Robert KuÊmirowski is the only one of the invited artists to make direct reference to Kantor, taking as the theme of his newest work the bench from Tadeusz Kantor’s famous play Dead Class. The installation will be presented in three instalments during the successive stages of the exhibition in the Barbican Centre and the Zach´ta Gallery. The exhibition in the Zach´ta Gallery, whose curator is Hanna Wróblewska, will present an entirely new approach to theme of performativity.

The presentations of the exhibition Impossible Theatre in the Kunsthalle Wien and the Barbican Centre are accompanied by a richly illustrated Anglo-German catalogue. An English-Polish catalogue will be produced on the occasion of the Zach´ta exhibition. In the publication will be critical essays by Sabina Folie, Hanna Wróblewska and Jaros∏aw Suchan as well as texts by the artists and interviews with them.

Exhibition curators Sabine Folie, Hanna Wróblewska

Collaboration from the Kunsthalle Wien Georgia Holz, Simone Sentall Collaboration from Zach´ta Julia Leopold

Exhibition organisers Kunsthalle Wien, Zach´ta National Gallery of Art


only in german

The Impossible Theatre.
Kuratoren: Sabine Folie, Hanna Wroblewska

mit Pawel Althamer, Tadeusz Kantor, Katarzyna Kozyra, Robert Kusmirowski, Artur Zmijewski

03.02.06 - 17.04.06 Barbican Centre, London
09.05.06 - 02.07.06 Zacheta National Gallery, Warschau
08.07.06 - 03.11.06 Kunsthalle Wien