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Unless I'm mistaken...


Tadeusz Kantor Cricot 2 Theatre of Death Romeo Castellucci directing


Romeo Castellucci began working as a theatre director in 1980 and, together with Claudia Castellucci and Chiara Guidi, he founded the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio in 1981. In the early 1980s, he began combining his interest in theatre with painting, also organizing some exhibitions. Since then he has produced a large number of works as author, director, and designer of sets, lights, sound effects and costumes. He is well known in Italy and abroad as a theatre auteur who seeks a ‘synaestethic’ audience understanding. His productions include Santa Sofia (1986), Inanna's Descent (1989), Gilgamesh (1990), Isis and Osiris (1990), Hamlet. The Vehement Exteriority of a Mollusc’s Death (1992), The Oresteia (1995), Julius Caesar (1997), Genesis. From the Museum of Sleep (1999), Journey to the End of the Night (1999), Il Combattimento (2000), Tragedia Endogonidia (2002), and Hey Girl! (2006), among others. He has also written numerous theoretical essays on direction and dramaturgy, and his books include The Theatre of Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio (1992), Rhetoric (2000), Epic of Dust (2001), and The Pilgrims of Matter (2001)

Unless I’m mistaken, Kantor remained onstage throughout his performances like a sentinel, ensuring that everything was well executed.

Unless I’m mistaken, Kantor was like a sentinel ensuring the perfect fiction; but in doing so, he suspended this very fiction, by stepping outside it.

Unless I’m mistaken, Kantor’s body was the counterpoint to the mannequin: the one too alive, the other too deathly. And in the middle was the actor who was, conspicuously, the ‘living dead’.

Unless I’m mistaken, Kantor constructed a logic of reversal, of disorientation within the fiction. There was something before our eyes that would coincide with the immediate experience of watching, but within the folds of this experience there was a breach opening onto an abyss, which signalled to us that to be able to see, it’s necessary to venture beyond. In other words, beneath the surface there was an ‘elsewhere’ towards which the stage oriented itself.

Unless I’m mistaken, Kantor remains onstage so that we no longer see him. He is onstage, between the audience and the actors, in order not to be seen, to disappear little by little.

Unless I’m mistaken, Kantor becomes completely invisible in the middle of the stage.

Unless I’m mistaken, Kantor becomes the REAL phantasm.

But probably I was mistaken all along.


Translated from Italian by Ludmiła Ryba.