Radical Languages

an exciting new programme: art / performance / lectures to mark the forthcoming opening of the new home of The Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

7th – 9th December, Krakow, Poland
Curated by: Maaike Gouwenberg and Joanna Zielinska


Please note that places are limited for events which are part of the Radical Languages project and prior reservation is required. You can book online from 26th November at rezerwacje@cricoteka.pl

Unfortunately, due to the great interest in the performative events on 8 and 9 December, with effect from 6 December we will no longer be able to accept reservations.

This exciting programme, including such artists as: Nicole Beutler, Michael Portnoy, Nathaniel Mellors, Yoko Ono and Yann Chateigné Tytelman, marks a new phase in the life of Cricoteka, with its extensive Kantor archive, by connecting the institution to contemporary art practice.

Tadeusz Kantor was an independent and uncompromising artist. His work thrived on conflict; he never refrained from provocation. He wanted art to be useless and autonomous. Considered a heretic of the avant-garde, he left a substantial oeuvre of theoretical writings, works of art, costumes, stage scenery and theatrical objects. The artist himself established Cricoteka in 1980; he intended it to be a living archive of the legendary Cricot 2 Theatre. Today, the nature of the artist’s output and possible ways of presenting it in a museum are some of the key concerns for Cricoteka. The thinking behind Cricoteka’s programme has been inspired both by Kantor’s work in its entirety and the collection of archive materials and theatrical objects, viewing these from the perspective of contemporary art discourse and new methodologies.

The Radical Languages project is a way of suggesting and proposing possible interpretations of Kantor’s work within contemporary art discourse and of dealing with the artist’s creative output in that context. The programme of multidisciplinary and performative events will include performative acts, theatrical performances, lectures, workshops, film projections and installations. Its unique character will highlight the mission of the institution and provide an overview of the many and varied strands of contemporary art. We have taken on board research into contemporary art practice at a time when the white cube has been replaced with a black box; when artists switch disciplines, using freely an eclectic mix of theatre, literature, dance or cinema history; when they seek out gaps in history, and re-use afresh the art form and idiom familiar from the past. Our programme will provide a bridge between the contemporary, personalised language of art and the autonomous position of the work of Tadeusz Kantor.

Kantor’s radical, ground-breaking views on fine art and theatre can be rediscovered within contemporary art. His ideas about the director’s on-stage presence, the position and role of the actor, Kantor’s living archive as well as his manifestos and durational performances will again come alive in the practices of the invited artists.

download catalogue


Nicole Beutler / Yann Chateigné Tytelman / Sebastian Cichocki / Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset / Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys / Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson / Zhana Ivanova / Tadeusz Kantor / Nathaniel Mellors / Yoko Ono / Michael Portnoy / Ian Saville / Egill Sæbjörnsson / Voin de Voin & Ancelle Beauchamp


Project Radical Languages subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and the National Heritage,
Flemish Representation  at the Belgian Embassy and the Mondriaan Fonds.
Partner: Barka Alrina, Bęc Zmiana Foundation.
Media patronage: Program 2 Polskiego Radia, TVP Kultura, TVP Kraków, Radio Kraków, Gazeta Wyborcza, Karnet, O.pl, Cracow-life.com, Purpose.com.pl, E-splot.


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