International Festival of Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant

Discussions and the exhibition

„Avantgarde Is a State of Mind”

The exhibition „Avantgarde Is a State of Mind” presents artists who in different times (not only in the times of historical avantgarde) tried to break every existing structures not only in the field of art but also in reality. We show those who have been led by the compulsion to break up any patterns and the pursuit to put it the form of the unnamed. Hence among the presented artists are Antonin Artaud and Arthur Rimbaud, Georges Gurdjieff and Tatsumi Hijikata, Jerzy Grotowski and Miron Białoszewski.

The multimedia exhibition was organized in cooperation with The Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute. Curators – Magda Kulesza and Krzysztof Kelm

“Avantgarde, theatre and all the rest” - discussion

March 19, at 1 p.m., Powszechny Theatre, Small Stage
Avantgarde, theatre and all the rest
- the seminar

The seminar “Avantgarde, theatre and all the rest” will take up the issue of the avantgarde transformation from its historical origins to the present. Participants of the discussion will debate several subjects, to mention kinds of art that played a fundamental role in the different periods of the history of avantgarde, significance of the theatre and the performing arts in the avantgarde’s history, impact of the new media on its transformation. They will also discuss how the latest artistic trends from the field of widely understood progressive, radical visual arts influence the shape and cultural status of the theatre, what new theatre or post-theatre phenomena form themselves outside the traditional field of theatre. They will ask how important the Internet and cyberspace for the theatre and performance art are. Social and political potential of today's theatre will also be talked about.

The participants of the seminar will represent both artists and scholars of the contemporary artistic practices and theatre. Ms Annie Abrahams (living in France) is a Dutch performance artist creating her projects on the Internet. Mr Grzegorz Laszuk is the leader of the formation of alternative theater Commune Otwock, nowadays - the Commune/Warsaw. This project joins the avantgarde experiment with the social interests. Ms Izabella Pluta (working in Switzerland and France) does a research work on how the modern theatre is transformed under the influence of new media. Ms Ewa Wojtowicz is the author of books about art on the Internet and the latest artistic post-media trends. Mr Ryszard W. Kluszczyński is a researcher on the contemporary art, in particular new media art. He is the author of numerous books and curator of exhibitions presenting the latest avantgarde artistic tendencies.

 "Theatre - live or on DVD?" - discussion

March 13, at 7 p.m.
Powszechny Theatre in Łódź, Small Stage

This deceitful question will be the starting point for the discussion about the limits of art, its current shape, its future and the significance of the Internet and new technologies for the theatre. We have been accustomed that an inherent feature of the theatre is the fact that it is unique and nonrecurring. Theatre is a special kind of art which always comes into existence in the viewer’s presence and awareness. It is the kind of art where the meaning and the significance of the theatrical work can be completed only in the mind of the viewer, but it also changes due to the presence and the interaction between the viewer and the actor. On the other hand theatre is the art that reacts to any social changes. It covers the needs of the contemporary society which uses modern media based on the Internet communication. Contemporary artists prove that the actor and the viewer do not have to be in the same place in order to have this interaction. So where are the boundaries of theatre? Do they even exist? And how does the cyberspace affect the work of theatre - both its creation and reception? The participants of the discussion – practicians and theorists of the theatre – will reflect on that subject. Łukasz Maciejewski will moderate the discussion.