Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Further on, Nothing

Tadeusz Kantor’s Theatre

2009
Author:

Michal Kobialka

Further on, Nothing

A new encounter with the work of a master of avant-garde theatre

Michal Kobialka explores Tadeusz Kantor’s theatre practice from the critical perspective of current debates about representation, memory, and history. Further on, Nothing includes new translations of Kantor’s work, presented in conversation with Kobialka’s own theoretical analyses, to show us a Kantor who continues to offer—and deliver on—the promise of the avant-garde.

Nothing may come of nothing (from King Lear to Beckett), but Michal Kobialka demonstrates that from the ‘topography of representation’ to ‘spatial historiography’ that Tadeusz Kantor—whether at ground zero or ‘the dead class,’ or his disjunct meetings with death—is one of the most implacably brilliant theater artists in the failing memory of Western culture.

Herbert Blau

Tadeusz Kantor (1915–1990) was one of the twentieth century’s most innovative visual artists, stage directors, and theoreticians. His theatre productions and manifestos challenged the conventions of creating art in post–World War II culture and expanded the boundaries of Dada, surrealist, Constructivist, and happening theatre forms. Kantor’s most widely known productions—The Dead Class (1975), Wielopole, Wielopole (1980), Let the Artists Die (1985), and Today Is My Birthday (1990)—have had a profound impact on playwrights and artists who continue today to engage with his radical theatre.

In Further on, Nothing, Michal Kobialka explores Kantor’s theatre practice from the critical perspective of current debates about representation, memory, and history. He pursues the intriguing proposition that Kantor gave material form to a theatre practice that defined the very mode of postmodern operation and that many of its theoretical notions are still in circulation. According to Kobialka, Kantor’s theatre still offers an answer to reality rather than a portrayal of a utopian alternative.

Further on, Nothing includes new translations of Kantor’s work, presented in conversation with Kobialka’s own theoretical analyses, to show us a Kantor who continues to offer—and deliver on—the promise of the avant-garde.

Awards

ATHE Outstanding Book Award, honorable mention

Further on, Nothing

Michal Kobialka is professor of theatre at the University of Minnesota.

Further on, Nothing

Nothing may come of nothing (from King Lear to Beckett), but Michal Kobialka demonstrates that from the ‘topography of representation’ to ‘spatial historiography’ that Tadeusz Kantor—whether at ground zero or ‘the dead class,’ or his disjunct meetings with death—is one of the most implacably brilliant theater artists in the failing memory of Western culture.

Herbert Blau

For more than two decades Michal Kobialka has been a trustworthy guide to the place of Tadeusz Kantor in the mosaic of modernity. In this new volume, which interweaves the artist’s writings and Kobialka’s own far-ranging reflections on him from the perspective of a new century, he shows how theatre and visual arts make room for philosophy and history in Kantor’s house of memory.

Bonnie Marranca, Editor, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art

Due to the highly personal nature of these writings, Kobialka’s critical essays provide an essential frame as he both defines the terminology and situates Kantor’s aims within a larger scope of late twentieth-century French critical theory.

Journal of Theatre Research International