Issue 3/2020 (760)

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Plays

ZEN­_IT

Karolina Fortuna

A futuristic play taking place five years from now. A scientist who used to experiment with silverfish now works  as a dentist. A patient with his tongue attached to the palate shows up one day. Due to the contamination of the environment  he is changing into a silverfish. At the same time the dentist’s daughter returns home after many years with an unsolved issue from the past. Time slows down and then speeds up. In the face of the catastrophe strange things happen. The text is full of  absurd humour but with a disturbing, apocalyptic message.

Thirteen Basic Rules of Basketball by James Naismith

Dmitry Bogoslavsky

The drama seems to depict everyday life of the inhabitants of one of Minsk’s blocks of flats in 2018. The characters are in their thirties, so they belong to a generation that was brought up, received education and started working under the rule of the same person. The text does not mention politics or the country’s system. But one can guess that the characters are completely apolitical, similarly to the majority of the citizens of the Republic, who have not experienced any other rule than the current one.

But the City Has Protected Me (Ali grad me je štitio)

Tanja Šljivar

The action of the play takes place in the business district of Frankfurt am Main during the time of anti-globalists’ protests. The main characters, however, are members of the Serbian immigrant community concerned with their own problems, the scale of which seems completely detached from great economic disputes taking place on top floors of glass skyscrapers. So why does a young Balkan girl suddenly decide to jump off the roof of one of those office buildings?

Essays, studies

Monstrous rhymes and the salto mortalia

Piotr Olkusz

At the turn of the 1950s and the 1960s, artists associated with literature, visual arts and theatre turned their attention to poetic experiments reminiscent of graphic poetry of futurists or Apolinnaire’s Calligrammes. According to the authors of its manifestos, the visual, concrete and space poetry is to free the word from the bondage of meanings. Interestingly, attention is often paid to the performative function of the word, attempts being made to understand the relationship between the word and the space (a sheet of paper or the place where the word is presented). In 1967, Pierre Garnier prepares a special issue of the magazine "Les Lettres" devoted to the space theatre: the proposals of the artists published there did not go down in the history of drama and theatre, and yet many authors today write their texts trying to examine the relationship of the word with the space and meanings.

What does a scandal do?

Dorota Semenowicz

The very question “What does a scandal do?” shows the power of a scandal. If it does something, this means that it has some agency, power, and specific effects. In the case of a scandal as a social event, these are demonstrations in front of theatres, canceled performances, and subsidies cut off. The mechanism of  its emergence and development is always similar: its basic construction is the correlate between the taboo and the legitimizing instance, the driving force being the media.

Under the banner. Legitimate history and a scandal

Joanna B. Bednarek

Legitimate culture works only insofar as it is not corrupt, demoralized, exposed, and as long as it maintains its exemplary power. Without it, it is a dominance, but not a hegemony. The problem is that no longer legitimate it can still be a source of law. Therefore, it may still bring to justice those who try to disturb or extend it.

Holy outrage and defiant reading

Kornelia Sobczak

Interpretation, and therefore also criticism, is a constant, insistent question: "what if?". What if the homosocial is also homoerotic, what if friendship is love, what if the Black Madonna became Rainbow Madonna, and what if her sad face expresses tenderness, care, empathy and love towards all children? What if consumption is the greatest obscenity of the modern world? Criticism is a project suspicious of obviousness, uncomfortable and irritating, breaking symbolic frames and preventing wounds from healing, but also bringing hope.

Right into the basket

Andriej Moskwin

The action of Dmitry Bogoslavsky’s drama takes place in one of Minsk’s blocks of flats in 2018. The text does not mention politics and the country’s system. But is it really so?

There is buzz on the summits

Stanisław Godlewski

What have been the mechanisms of hierarchy production, the search and creation of authorities, generational disputes and examinations of conscience by intellectuals for the last thirty years? In the case of theatre criticism, all these activities were an attempt to gain influence. In a new communication situation, with the competitive media, the free market, press transformations; in a new reality that was difficult to comprehend, and with the new theatre that was not always easy to understand, critics have sought tools to somehow influence the theatre. They have described the new phenomena in order to co-create them.

Rozmaitości: an untold story

Katarzyna Dudzińska

Grzegorz Jarzyna and Krzysztof Warlikowski met at the launch of Justyna Świerczyńska's book Teatr Rozmaitości Jarzyny i Warlikowskiego [Rozmaitości Theatre by Jarzyna and Warlikowski] (Warsaw 2019). They discussed the crisis in which Europe is plunged, the conceit of our civilization, the lack of radicalism and the need for intensity. They remarked that the audience of both the TR Warszawa and the Nowy Theatre is constantly growing, the performances traveling around Poland and abroad. The author of the book only managed to mention that her adventure with this place had begun when she had watched Magnetyzm serca at the age of twenty.

Columns

Tadeusz Nyczek, Marek Beylin, Tadeusz Bradecki, Piotr Morawski

Varia

Contexts: Zofia Cielątkowska on the margin of  Velásquez’s Las Meninas as analysed by Michel Foucault. Notes on plays: Olga Dimitrijević (with Maja Pelević, Slobodan Obradović, Tanja Šljivar, Vedrana Klepica) Lepa Brena Prodžekt; Wojciech Pestka Syrop z kocimiętki; Tanja Šljivar Smrt trgovačke putnice. Jedan monolog za Evropu *fragmenti*. Playbill.

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