Dummy People

The “Inferno- inner self”, which I entered.
The image, its “exudation”, the matter of my own body.
Unadulterated life, which flows
through that matter.
Only flows through.
To find BEINGS that would be subject to that flow
(Always that human figure).
And then I found:

I found them in my theatre.
In my poor Fairground Tent.
Here an important explanation must be given:
how did the THEATRE come into it?
I was thinking about it, and others thought about it
even more.
Is it good for painting to solve its problems
in another discipline. It certainly raised
doubts about the earnestness of my
painting. Am I a “throughbred ” painter?
Then, it seems, I made an important “discovery”.
I realised that the controversial thinking about art
badly requires a correction.
That stiff borders between the arts should be abolished
and that the MOVEMENT ACROSS THEM is
not only permitted but at some moments
By their very nature borders enclose and restrict THOUGHT,
its capricious and “incalculable” course.
The surface of the painting becomes too “orthodox”
to contain the thought that reaches beyond the laws
of the painting’s structure.


"Dead Woman", from the series entitled "Dummy People," 1961, the Museum of Fine Arts in Łódź

“Dead Woman”, from the series entitled “Dummy People,” 1961, the Museum of Fine Arts in Łódź

(One important caveat: the theatre must not
become the scene of pictorial effects
as it has happened all too often lately.
The “breaking out” of the confines of paintings is a must.
Even when it spills over the borders, painting
does not cease to exist. It is our birthplace.)
We should be active within the whole sphere of art.
Today I would add: And not forger about one’s birthplace.



Tadeusz Kantor, “Intimate Comments”, 1986-88, typescript in the Cricoteka Archives, p. 10.

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