PL EN


2016 | 65 | 4(260) | 71-90
Article title

Formy, farsze i prawa syntezy, czyli „chemia związków jakości teatralnych” według Witkacego

Title variants
EN
Forms, Falsehoods and Laws of Synthesis, or “the Chemistry of Theatrical Quality Complexes” According to Witkacy
Languages of publication
Abstracts
EN
The reception of Witkacy’s work can be reduced to acts of cutting pieces of closely related contents that happen to fit one’s purpose out of a whole that contains many other qualities and ingredients. It was so before the war, when Witkiewicz, hardly recognising his own dramas on stage, complained that there must be “some limits of identity of a work with itself.” The same was true for the second half of the 20th century, when he joined the avant-garde classics in supplying his creations as raw material for artistic experimentation, the practice which he had, by the way, hated. He also became an “honorary patron” of a heterogeneous artistic phenomenon known under the unfortunate name of “visual theatre,” which, as Konstanty Puzyna once remarked, reacted only “to a small portion of what Witkiewicz’s plays contain: to his visual imagination.” Misconstructions of the concept of Form which, fused with its other historical definitions and uses, generated more and more misunderstandings was what added most to the confusion. Had the concept been analysed in all of its complexity that Witkiewicz intended, and particularly, within the larger conceptual framework of his thought, there would have been no room for ambiguity. The closest terminological associates of Witkiewicz’s “Form” belong to the family of words referring to unity, namely: “alloy,” “amalgam,” or “synthesis.” Form was meant to contain all that, having been “processed,” i.e. having undergone amalgamation, constituted the primordial matter of Art. Therefore, what Witkacy wanted for the theatre was not profusion of visual qualities, not to “make theatre ‘painterly’”, as he put it—not to eliminate content in favour of form. Instead, he wanted the theatrical work to be composed mysteriously, in the process of chemical, or alchemical, Formation, in a magical act of giving shape. This was the level at which the issues that interested him the most really resided, including the fundamental question of unity in plurality. It is precisely this mystery of Form, with all its perplexing and embarrassing metaphysics that has been persistently and pointedly ignored by Witkiewicz’s self- or otherwise appointed inheritors. And representatives of various types of “the theatre of visual narration”, to use a more adequate term coined by Zbigniew Taranienko, from the pre-war Cricot Theatre to the group that Puzyna dubbed “Witkacoplastic theatre” (Witkacoplastyka), did err in this respect as well. Just as long, however, as the theatre of visual narration was preoccupied with resolving the problems stemming from aporias of Modernism, references to Witkacy were more or less warranted. But postmodernism that loves the fragmentary, makes values relative and annihilates all stable points of reference misses the point completely, and the Theory of Pure Form transmogrifies into the practice of “open form” that leaves Witkiewicz’s major postulates further and further behind.
Year
Volume
65
Issue
Pages
71-90
Physical description
Contributors
  • Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
References
  • D. Gerould, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz jako pisarz, Warszawa 1981.
  • M. Groth, Od eksperymentów Bauhausu do Teatru Galeria, „Pamiętnik Teatralny” 2015 z. 2.
  • M. Janion, Czas formy otwartej, „Życie Literackie” 1979 nr 48.
  • J. Lau, Teatr artystów „Cricot”, Kraków 1967.
  • S. Marczak-Oborski, Awangardowa wielość rzeczywistości, [w:] Myśl teatralna polskiej awangardy 1919–1939. Antologia, wybór i wstęp S. Marczak-Oborski, noty L. Kuchtówna, Warszawa 1973.
  • W. J. T. Mitchell, Iconology. Image, Text, Ideology, Chicago–London 1986.
  • W. Owczarski, Czy Witkacy chodziłby do Cricot?, „Teatr” 2006 nr 10.
  • P. Piotrowski, Metafizyka obrazu. O teorii sztuki i postawie artystycznej Stanisława Ignacego Witkiewicza, Poznań 1985.
  • J. Pollakówna, Filozofowanie i namiętności, [w:] Studia o Stanisławie Ignacym Witkiewiczu, pod red. M. Głowińskiego i J. Sławińskiego, Wrocław 1972.
  • M. Popiel, Wyspiański. Mitologia nowoczesnego artysty, Kraków 2008.
  • M. Porębski, Miejsce Witkacego, [w:] idem, Interregnum. Studia z historii sztuki polskiej XIX i XX w., Warszawa 1975.
  • K. Puzyna, Na przełęczach bezsensu, [w:] idem, Burzliwa pogoda, Warszawa 1971.
  • D. Ratajczakowa, Eksperyment w teatrze i „teatr eksperymentalny”, [w:] Z teorii teatru. Materiały z sesji teatralnej, Poznań – 1970 r., Warszawa 1972.
  • L. Sokół, Fenomen Witkacego. Wiele pytań, niewiele odpowiedzi, „Rocznik Towarzystwa Literackiego im. A. Mickiewicza” 2000 vol. XXXV.
  • W. Sztaba, Teatr, sztuka i życie, „Pamiętnik Teatralny” 1985 z. 1–4.
  • Z. Taranienko, Granice teatru narracji plastycznej, „Sztuka” 1976 nr 6.
  • K. Wyka, Trzy legendy tzw. Witkacego, „Twórczość” 1958 nr 10.
  • A. Żakiewicz, Witkacy – perfect trickster, [w:] Trickster strategies in the artists’ and curatorial practice, ed. A. Markowska, Warsaw–Torun 2012.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-fd1236bc-f98e-4a8c-99ae-e304d219de35
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