Work - Let the Artists Die. Revue.
Premiere: 2.06.1985 r., Alte Giesserei Kabelmetal, Nuremberg.
The title recalls the exclamation of a Parisian woman living close to the Galerie de France and to the fate of Wit Stwosz, imprisoned in Nuremberg after his return from Krakow. The performance embodies the condition of an outcast artist, misunderstood by the society. Kantor appears as Self – the initiator of all. The stage room has no real equivalent this time. The artist called it My Poor Room of Imagination. It’s built from memory stock. It can take place of a Graveyard Shed, a Children’s Room, a Common Room. The last name recalls a novel by Zbigniew Uniłowski Kantor has read in his youth. The room is filled with the Comedians of the Travelling Fair Booth. All of the objects in the scene are moving. One of the twins starring in the plays goes to bed as Self – dying – the other watches his – or his own – death. (Author of the stage persona – the dying man.) A boy on a kid’s trolley (Self – aged 6) goes ahead of a parade of generals, surrounding the leader on a skeleton hose (You Know Who). It’s a child’s memory of Józef Piłsudski’s funeral. A doctor – Asklepios – appears, taking pulse of both the twins and Kantor. In simultaneous scenes the actors perform the same actions: Hanged Man sings a song about unhappy love and drops from the gallows, a Pimp plays at cards, a Scullery Maid stubbornly washes dishes, a Harlot primps herself, and the Devout Woman prays. Suddenly the whole circus troupe of comedians freezes in their places. The Tormentors appear, binding them to prangers. The Devout Woman kneels down with hands down in the pose of the sleeping Holy Mother from the Mariacki Altar’s relief. In the finale Wit Stwosz himself comes on stage. He erects his last work: a barricade, replica of Delacroix’ Liberty Leading the People. From it, led by the Angel of Death, the artists shoot towards the audience.