A Utopia of Reality
Languages of publication
The Happenings movement, since its beginnings in the 1950s and 1960s, survived for only a decade. It was abandoned by virtually all of its participants, who deemed it to be exhausted and with no perspectives for further development. Despite this, the impact of Happenings on modern culture cannot be overestimated, particularly due to the fact that they have laid the foundation for the widespread artistic practice of performance. To a large extent, modern theatre, consciously or not, draws from the same pool of experiences. Kantor’s happenings hold a special place both in the history of the phenomenon itself and in his artistic work. In his happenings Kantor deliberately transgressed rigid bounds of the genre, introducing formal solutions unaccounted for or even disapproved by the theorists and major practitioners of the movement. He felt free to combine Happenings aesthetics or Happenings solutions with some of his other conceptions, introducing them into his theatre. The article presents a sketchy history of the Happenings movement with emphasis on its theoretical foundations and the position occupied in it by Tadeusz Kantor. Special attention is paid to utopian concepts underlying the phenomenon, such as “representation of reality with reality” or the postulate that the actions performed be completely nonsemantic.
- W. Borowski, Tadeusz Kantor, Warszawa 1982.
- T. Kantor, Okolice zera, [w:] idem, Metamorfozy. Teksty o latach 1934–1974, oprac. K. Pleśniarowicz, Wrocław-Kraków 2005.
- T. Kantor, Wolność musi być absolutna, [w:] idem, Dalej już nic… Teksty z lat 1985–1990, oprac. K. Pleśniarowicz, Wrocław-Kraków 2005.
- T. Pawłowski, Happening, Warszawa 1988.
- S. Sontag, Happening – sztuka radykalnych zestawień, przekł. D. Żukowski, [w:] eadem, Przeciw interpretacji i inne eseje, Kraków 2012.
Publication order reference