Tadeusz Kantor and Beyond

Experience the hypnothic imagination of the most world renown Polish artist

Tadeusz Kantor (1988) by Daniel SimpsonCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

The Cricoteka opened in 1980 in Krakow as the Center of the Cricot 2 Theatre – a group created by an avant-garde director and painter Tadeusz Kantor – being closely connected with it’s founder's ideas and stage practice. 

Tadeusz KantorCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

A unique collection that inspires

The institution is the cornerstone of Kantor’s experimental work, that has traced new paths for the world theatre. We are also a ‘living archive’ of the artist's creation. The unique collection of Kantor’s works is the basis of our activities.

Kantor`s Theatrical Costumes (2020) by Szymon SokolowskiCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

Our collection comprises several hundred objects and costumes from the Cricot 2 Theatre, Kantor’s theoretical papers, drawings and design works, video records, and photographic documentation as well as thousands of reviews, journals and books. 

Kantor`s Theatrical Costumes (2020) by Z. Prokop, K. KucmaCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

This enormous output – accumulated as the result of the countless world tours of the artist and his group – has been subject to continuous development.

Cricoteka`s squareCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

New seat – new perspectives

In 2014 we inaugurated the new building of the Cricoteka  – located at the riverside in Podgórze, an alternative neighbourhood of Krakow – that has opened new possibilities of protecting and presenting Kantor's legacy in a creative dialogue with modernity.

Ehxibition "Tadeusz Kantor. Spectres" (2020) by Z. Prokop, K. KucmaCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

In accordance with the artist’s will, the Cricoteka continues to realise this task as its primary, fundamental aim.

Ehxibition "Tadeusz Kantor. Spectres" (2020) by Z. Prokop, K. KucmaCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

We collect and research exhibits, preserve, conserve and display them. Hence, we not only store Kantor’s material works, but also engage with his concepts. We develop and sustain Kantor's thoughts and revolutionary ideas.

Tadeusz Kantor. Episode One. Collection. (2014) by Grzegorz MartCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

Caring of the collection implies supporting its fragile intellectual tissue, its constant updating and processing. 
We do it within several main fields.

Exhibition “I’m Goddamn Falling!” (2015) by Zbigniew ProkopCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

Gallery programme

Exhibitions presenting selected aspects of Kantor’s works
Tadeusz Kantor. Spectres
I’m Goddamn Falling!

Exhibition "Nothing Twice" (2014) by Jan SmagaCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

Shows following themes related to the work of Kantor, developed by contemporary artists
Nothing Twice

Exhibition "Inviting. Sarkis–Kantor" (2019) by Grzegorz MartCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

Tributes to Kantor
Christian Boltanski. In the Blink of an Eye – a site-specific installation created for the Cricoteka
Sarkis/Kantor Inviting
– a dialogue of French artist with Kantor’s heritage

Exhibition "Schlemmer-Kantor" (2016)Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

Presentations juxtaposing Kantor with other contemporary artists who explore parallels
Schlemmer/Kantor

The Choreographic Machine, a program of contemporary dance presentations (2015) by Grzegorz MartCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

Performative programme

It started with The Choreographic Machine. Lately we opted for singling out two main directions of artistic experiments – one centered mostly on music, and another on dance and theatre, although both of them have distinctive performative profile.

Polifonie. Open Stage (2019) by Grzegorz MartCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

The first one, Poliphonies, goes for experimental, avant-garde music, likewise Kantor’s performances, involves poor matter of everyday objects and sounds into stage and audiosphere.

Dance performance "Kantor. Burza" (2020) by Grzegorz MartCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

Rollercoaster, created in 2018 with Krakow Dance Theater, gave the Cricoteka the reputation of a contemporary dance presentation scene, a space that is open for young, experimental dancers.

In the educational space we organise lectures, discussions and conferences (2015) by Grzegorz MartCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

Research

The Cricoteka's archive offers a broad, constantly actualized collection of texts, photos and audiovisual materials linked to its founder.
We also organize seminars focused on Kantor’s legacy, collaborate with universities and participate in international research programmes.

"Inviting. Sarkis–Kantor" - exhibition catalogueCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

Publications

We have published around 80 paper and digital titles. Many of them are bilingual, Polish-English editions.
The three main sections are:
– exhibitions' catalogues
– recopilations of documents and studies on Kantor and Cricot 2
– publications for kids and teachers

Workshop for children (2015) by Grzegorz MartCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

Education and accessibility

Both of them, addressed to adults and children, are based on the Cricoteka’s collection aming their active participation in an environment that connects theatre, performance, music and visual arts. 

"The Laboratory in an Archive" - educational programm for intergenerational audience (2017) by Grzegorz MartCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

Our educational offer includes activities such as:

– creative labs, classes for schools, summer camps
– music, theatre and visual arts workshops
– performative walks or lectures

The events can be unique or periodical, based on the current exhibition or general Kantor's ideas.

Working on art accessibility (2017) by Grzegorz MartCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

The Cricoteka puts a constant effort on making its cultural offer accessible to the broadest public possible, including social groups with specific needs – blind, deaf, people with physical and mental disabilities.

Living Statues, the performans (2019) by Grzegorz MartCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

Despite the death of its patron in 1990, one of the most interesting challenges the Cricoteka has to deal with is managing his heritage understood as a vivid, changing tissue. 

Performative reading with Jan Guntner (2015) by Grzegorz MartCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

On one hand it is being implied by its specifics – in big part intangible. On the other hand, it is inspired by the subtle transformations that Kantor’s legacy is living on different levels.

The Archive (2018) by Grzegorz MartCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

The Cricoteka interpretes a powerful link between the institution and Kantor as a heritage itself. We deal with it constantly exploring, searching for new, effective languages, redefining and experimenting.

Kantor`s Theatrical Costumes (2020) by Szymon SokolowskiCentre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA

The experiences of the Cricot 2 Theatre and its unique matter are an outstanding phenomenon of European and world culture.
We invite you to delve in it with us.

Credits: Story

An exhibition of the Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor.
Conception: Justyna Droń
Texts: Magdalena Link-Lenczowska
Photo selection: Tomasz Pietrucha

Images: Krzysztof Kućma, Grzegorz Mart, Zbigniew Prokop, Joanna Rytter, Daniel Simpson, Jan Smaga, Szymon Sokolowski, Kuba Sowiński.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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