March 13, 2009 - Zachęta National Gallery of Art - PERFORMER
March 13, 2009


Ryszard Cieslak in “The Constant Prince”,
dir. Jerzy Grotowski
Still from film recording of stage production
Exhibition view
Photo Sebastian Madejski

14th February – 24th March 2009

Pl. Malachowskiego 3
00-916 Warsaw, Poland
tel. (+48 22) 827 58 54
press [​at​]

An exhibition prepared at Zacheta in co-operation with the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw and the Jerzy Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, as part of the celebrations to mark the anniversary year of Jerzy Grotowski, a Polish theatre director and innovator of experimental theatre, and the “theatre laboratory” and “poor theatre” concepts. Elements from Grotowski’s work will be shown through the prism of the visual arts: film documentation of rehearsals, performances, actor exercises and interviews with the director will be placed alongside works by artists who are linked to him by a common inspiration or similar approaches to art, the body and spirituality.

The exhibition grows out of the need to reconsider Grotowski’s work as a phenomenon essential, not only in the perspective of the development of the theatre, but also in the wider context of the cultural changes of the second half of the 20th century to which the visual arts, theatre and literature all testify.

The exhibition title is the title of one of Jerzy Grotowski’s texts. Georges Banu wrote about this text that it “should be read as a route map, and not as a programmatic statement, a final document or a closed account.” The exhibition should be read in a similar spirit: its goal is not to present the whole of Grotowski’s work, of his ‘oeuvre’, nor does it have the character of a monography of this outstanding director and anthropologist of the theatre. It is rather a collection of ‘notes’ made on the margins of what has been perceived as the main body of Grotowski’s work. Through the presentation of documentary recordings of exercises, fragments of rehearsals and performances, and conversations with Grotowski, the exhibition attempts rather to reconstruct the artist’s thoughts about the body as a site of primordial experiences of spiritual reality.

Artists participating in the exhibition: Jerzy Grotowski, Marina Abramovic, Marina Abramovic/Ulay, Vito Acconci, Guenther Brus, Lygia Clark, Roman Dziadkiewicz, Joan Jonas, Ana Mendieta, Otto Muehl, Bruce Nauman, Hermann Nitsch, Gina Pane, Carolee Schneemann, Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Grzegorz Sztwiertnia, Zbigniew Warprchowski, Hannah Wilke

Magda Kulesza (Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute)
Jarosław Suchan (Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi)
Hanna Wroblewska (Zacheta National Gallery of Art)

The exhibition supported by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.

media patronage: Gazeta Wyborcza, Polityka, TOK FM, The Warsaw Voice,, empik

Zachęta National Gallery of Art
  • Share