Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: "Even the thing I am ..." : Tadeusz Kantor and the poetics of being
Author: Leach, Martin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 0511
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis explores ways in which the reality of Kantor’s existence at a key moment in occupied Kraków may be read as directly informing the genesis and development of his artistic strategies. It argues for a particular ontological understanding of human being that resonates strongly with that implied by Kantor in his work and writings. Most approaches to Kantor have either operated from within a native perspective that assumes familiarity with Polish culture and its influences, or, from an Anglo-American theatre-history perspective that has tended to focus on his larger-scale performance work. This has meant that contextual factors informing Kantor’s work as a whole, including his happenings, paintings, and writings, as well as his theatrical works, have remained under-explored. The thesis takes a Heideggerian-hermeneutic approach that foregrounds biographical, cultural and aesthetic contexts specific to Kantor, but seemingly alien to Anglo-American experience. Kantor’s work is approached from Heideggerian and post-Heideggerian perspectives that read the work as a world-forming response to these contexts. Read in this way, key writings, art and performance works by Kantor are revealed to be explorations of existence and human being. Traditional ontological distinctions between process and product, painting and performance, are problematised through the critique of representation that these works and working practices propose. Kantor is revealed as a metaphysical artist whose work stands as a testament to a Heideggerian view of human being as a ‘positive negative’: a ‘placeholder of nothing’, but a ‘nothing’ that yet ‘is’ …
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Giorgio Agamben ; aletheia ; Auschwitz ; being ; Constructivism ; Cricoteka ; emballage ; ethos ; Existentialism ; Pavel Florensky ; Hans-Georg Gadamer ; Witold Gombrowicz ; Happening ; Martin Heidegger ; Holocaust ; icons ; Informe ; Informel ; Jewishness ; Franz Kafka ; Tadeusz Kantor ; Kazimierz ; Kraków ; Kazimir Malevich ; metaphysics ; negativity ; nihilism ; ontology ; performance ; performativity ; perspective ; Podgórze ; poetics ; poiesis ; Poor Object ; Reality of the Lowest Rank ; reverse perspective ; Rainer Maria Rilke ; spectator ; Suprematism ; Vladimir Tatlin ; ‘theatre of death’ ; Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz