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Toward the Non-(Re)presentational Actor

From Grotowski to Richards Kris Salata

Figure 1. Thomas Richards in Action at the Church of John the Baptist, Cappadocia, Turkey, 2005. (Photo by Frits Meyst; courtesy of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards) Here you must do with your self, the way you are, the way you were born, with your whole life, your dreams, needs--do with your whole self. --Jerzy Grotowski (1979) What does it mean, not to hide from another person? Not to veil or mask yourself from another person? Not to play a different person? To reveal yourself? To reveal yourself? To disarm yourself before another person and to come forth like that? 1 --Jerzy Grotowski (1972b) Jerzy Grotowski was once a sign maker. In his period of making theatrical productions, he composed dense semiotic structures thickly layered with signification using minimal theatrical devices.2 On Grotowski's stage,3 signs were clearly articulated, separated from one another by

TDR: The Drama Review 52:2 (T198) Summer 2008. ©2008 New York University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology


syncopation, contrast, and displacement, and delivered with high speed, efficiency, and velocity, thus building a syntagmatic performance text, or rather multiple texts, all released simultaneously as a palimpsest. This condensed interplay of signs created a paradigmatic resonance in which the multitude of meanings unveiled themselves simultaneously. Polish critic and scholar Konstanty Puzyna saw it this way: [In Apocalypsis cum figuris, Grotowski] multiplies and clashes meanings: the face of the actor expresses something different than his simultaneous hand gesture, and still something different is carried in this moment by the reaction of the opposing person; there is a threat in the voice, joyful light in the eyes, and pain in the spasm of the body. The expression impresses with its virtuosity, every sign shines with precision, but it all crams together, vanishes, gets away. Half of these things we register merely with peripheral vision. They fall into our consciousness, but in order to describe them in detail, one must see each scene several times and dedicate a couple of columns of print to it, as one would do while analyzing a good poem. (1999:167­68)4 With this approach, Grotowski disabled a distanced second level reading of the performance and its narrative(s), forcing the spectator to face the density of the work in toto in a mode of event as a witnessed deed, rather than as a text that unfolds its narrative and "surrenders" itself to the reader. The primary sign maker for Grotowski was always the actor, an artisan of articulation able to simultaneously engage in a dense and complex meaning-making process and in the living Kris Salata teaches stage directing and performance at Stanford University. He left his native Poland, where he was an author and performer, in 1983. He has translated a number of texts by Jerzy Grotowski and has written on the Workcenter for Opere e Sentieri: Il Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards (edited by Antonio Attisani and Mario Biagini, Bulzoni Editore, 2007) and Doorways: Performing as a Vehicle at the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards (edited by Lisa Wolford Wylam and Mario Biagini, Seagull Press, forthcoming). A member of the documentation team for Tracing Roads Across, he has followed the research conducted at the Workcenter since 2004.

1. Froma1972TVinterviewwithJaroslawSzymkiewicz,TelewizjaPolska,mytranscriptionandtranslation.Stated quitepoeticallyinfrontofthecamera,thisquestionandquesthasatellingprovenience.Asayoungboy,GrotowskireadPaulBrunton'sA Search in Secret IndiaandwasdeeplymovedbythechapteronBhagwanSriRamana Maharishi,aholyman,whosettledontheslopesofArunachala,aholymountain--theMountainofFlame.The holyman'sinstructionwas,"Askyourselfwhoyouare."Asanadult,Grotowskikeptcopiesofthischapterindifferentlanguagesandhandedthemtohisfriends.UponhisdeathGrotowskiaskedforhisashestobescatteredon thesacredmountain. 2. Grotowski'speriodoftheatricalproductions(1959­1969)endedwithApocalypsis cum figuris.Fortheremaining30yearsofhislife,until1999,Grotowskiconductedaudience-lessresearchwithashiftingfocus.Paratheatre, orActiveCulture(1969­1978)involvedpeopleasparticipantsratherthanspectators.ForTheatreofSources (1976­1982)Grotowskiinvitedtraditionalperformersfromvariousculturesaroundtheworldtosearchfor traditionalformsofperformancesuitableforworkononeself.In1982GrotowskimovedtoCalifornia,whereat UniversityofCalifornia­IrvineheconductedtheObjectiveDramaproject,whichservedasatransitiontohisfinal phaseofresearch.In1986GrotowskisettledinItaly,whereheestablishedhisWorkcenterinPontedera.Eventually ledbyThomasRichards,theworkattheWorkcenter--theworkonthecraftoftheperformerandtheworkon oneself--isreferredtoasArtasvehicle(1986­). 3. Termssuchas"Grotowski'stheatre,"or"ThomasRichards'swork"areparticularlydangerousshortcutsinthe contextofaworkbasedoncollaborativecreationandtheinnerprocessesofindividuals.Iusethesetermshere intheliteralsense,referringtotherolesoftheleader/directorandleader/director/doer,toconnecttothethread thatmakestheworkpersonal,whichitdefinitelywasforGrotowski.Reflectinguponthecreativeprocessbehind Apocalypsis cum figuris,Grotowskisaid:"Whatwasmyroleinallofit?Thewholeparadoxisthat,forme,itwas themostpersonalperformance"(2008b:51). 4. Unlessnotedotherwise,alltranslationsfromPolishlanguagetextsaremyown.

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creative process in which the score was rooted, while also continuously confronting the concreteness of "here and now." Grotowski directed a theatre of literal action: his actors did in relation to their own lives, and in confrontation with the event of performance. Grotowski created a rich theatrical situation (characters, a story, narratives), that did not function solely by means of illusion. The props consisted of real objects; in Apocalypsis cum figuris5 they included a knife, candles, a loaf of bread, and a bucket of water on a hardwood floor that showed candle burns from previous performances. "Overcoming himself" and "reaching a density of signs that was almost inhuman" (Grotowski 1979:139), the actor did not hide but rather exposed his work as sign making (in a presentational mode), or offered his organic actions for the director to suture together into a performance score. In his Theatre of Productions period, when he was still presenting theatrical works, Grotowski pursued research in three distinct areas. First was the search for new possibilities in the relationship between the actor and the spectator, with its daring spatial experiments--well documented and most often recognized as one of Grotowski's main contributions to the avantgarde. It is perhaps because of the persistence of material evidence--films, photographs, programs, texts, props, and design drawings for Kordian (1962), Dziady (Forefathers' Eve; 1961), Akropolis (1962), Tragiczne dzieje doktora Fausta (The Tragic Story of Doctor Faustus; 1963), and Ksie Niezlomny (The Constant Prince; 1965)--regardless of their limitations, that theatre academics remain focused on this period, this particular aspect of Grotowski's Laboratory Theatre, and this side of Grotowski's work. Grotowski moved away from his focus on the actor/ spectator relationship, realizing that interaction and collaboration with spectators "usually slipped into stereotypes" (1979:139). Grotowski's second area of research was the craft of the actor as sign maker, which culminated in Akropolis. After Akropolis Grotowski shifted his interest from the theatrical sign to the actor's self-revelation, a shift that began with The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus and matured in Apocalypsis as Grotowski moved toward his departure from making productions: Then, the moment came when it became obvious that not the sign but what is called a "symptom" was important. It is through symptoms that human life reveals itself--the way man is and what he does. If we look at someone, what we first see is a kind of prepared, preprogrammed act, and that's why it reminds us of signs. Sometimes we can have a feeling that behind it, there is something real. It is hard to say why. But if you study this matter very closely, you will find symptoms of an organic process. It is an old truth. One discovers old truths throughout one's entire life. So then, in the second phase, the actor-as-Man (Czlowiek-aktor)6 appeared. And simultaneously, the spectator-as-Man. Not the audience, not someone unidentified, but a human being, each different, each with his own life. We could say that our research in the `60s, despite being technical in many aspects, in its essence focused on Man (Czlowiek) himself. We were already dealing with doing. We staged The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, The Constant Prince, and Apocalypsis cum figuris. (Grotowski 1979:139)

5. Apocalypsis cum figurisofficiallypremieredinitsFirstVersionon11February1969.Scriptcompositionand stagedirecting:JerzyGrotowski.Co-director:RyszardCielak.Assistantdirector:Stanislawcierski.Costumes: WaldemarKrygier.Actors:AntoniJaholkowski,ZygmuntMolik,ZbigniewCynkutis,RenaMireckaorElisabeth Albahaca,Stanislawcierski,RyszardCielak.SecondVersionpremieredinJune1971,andThirdVersion,inJuly 1973,castunchanged.ThelastperformanceofApocalypsistookplaceinMay1980. 6. GrotowskiinsistedonthetranslationofthePolishword"czlowiek"intoEnglishinhistextsas"Man(Czlowiek)." Honoringhiswish,Icanonlyaddthat"czlowiek"isamasulinenounthatmeans"man,mankind,"whilePolish equivalentsfor"man"and"woman"haveaquitedifferentrootfromboth"mankind"andeachother:"mczyzna" and"kobieta,"respectively.


Grotowski to Richards

Grotowski shifted focus in the actor's score from the sign as symbol to the symptom. He privileged the actual rather than dramatic dimension of performance and the pursuit of the organic life this actual dimension unveils. In that shift, which can also be described as a move from symbolic to symptomatic performance, Grotowski privileged natural signifiers, i.e., those caused by the signified (such as smoke caused by fire). Grotowski's departure from productions must be seen as a crisis of the traditionally understood notion of the director, whom he saw as usurping the meeting between the actor and the spectator.7 In Apocalypsis, as well as in Faustus and The Constant Prince, the actor came forth to meet the spectator not as a sign maker but rather as a person who, through performance, resigns from his role and brings forth "something real" in himself. Therefore, even if made available by means of performance, this meeting could take place only in and through resignation from (re)presentation. In brief, Grotowski's departure from productions entails a move beyond semiosis. This departure marked a shift from the sign to the symptom, from acting to doing, from mediated to direct reception, and finally from productions to audience-less work. The shift occurred gradually for Grotowski, but it culminated during the long and painful process of working on Apocalypsis. From the solidity and craft of Akropolis, Grotowski pushed the work to its utmost fragility by doing and revealing the one who does. When several years later (and after several stages of research) Thomas Richards arrived to apprentice at the Workcenter in Pontedera, Italy, he worked both on himself and as a leader of the group under Grotowski's intensive mentorship, which in many ways continued the practical exploration originated through Apocalypsis.8

Destroying the Symbolic in Apocalypsis cum figuris

In her short article "Grotowski: Niszczyciel Znaków" (Grotowski: The Destroyer of Signs), Polish scholar Seweryna Wyslouch observes that in Apocalypsis, Grotowski "kills" symbols, signs, and conventions that mediate humanity's daily encounters with the sacred (1971:130­31). Wyslouch's remark confirms the Laboratory Theatre's self-description of their work as "rites full of sorcery and blasphemy." This line from Adam Mickiewicz's 1832 dramatic poem, Dziady, became the company's motto.9 For example, the act of ablution represented in the Church by the sprinkling of a few drops of water on the priest's hands was simultaneously destroyed and rendered immediate in the performance of Apocalypsis when Mary Magdalene jumped into a bucket of water and briskly washed her feet, splashing the water around. Similarly, the symbolic sharing of the body of Christ and the drinking of his blood became in Apocalypsis a suggestive "cannibalistic feast" with the actors "biting" into the body of the Simpleton. At another moment, a treatment of the line "Verily, verily I say unto you. Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood (...) for my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed" brought the theme of untamed sexuality to the scene: John plunges a cupped hand into the front of his jeans, and his body jerks spasmodically. Withdrawing his hand he lifts it reverently to his lips and sups noisily. Mary Magdalene gazes on, now fascinated and a little repulsed. John repeats the action, this time offering

7. "Therewasaperiodinourwork,whenwedidlookforsigns,symbols,etc.,toexpresssomething,or,evenworse, toillustratesomething.Ihopewecanconsiderthisperiodmanyyearsbehindus.Itwasafruitlesseffort.[I]n thesearchforsigns,theactorcouldn'tbehimself­hecouldnotrevealhimselfasMan[Czlowiek].Somebodywas buildingastructureofsignsabovehim.Thissomebodywasthedirector.ThisiswhatIcallusurpation.Nevertheless,duringthatphaseweachieveddisciplineandprecisionofwork"(Grotowski1972a:37). 8. RichardsmetGrotowskiinIrvine,California,in1985. 9. ItalsoappearedintheprogramnoteforApocalypsis.

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his hand to Mary Magdalene. She takes it greedily with both hands and drains it. (Kumiega 1987:241) In these "acts of blasphemy," Grotowski unveils the yearning for the real that underlies the sign, and at the same time aims--with Artaudian cruelty--at the restoration of the sacred that has been lost in representation. There is something cruelly truthful in what Lloyd Richards made evident to his son Thomas--that church ceremonies are often made up of bad acting--an observation that Thomas refers to on occasion with a smile. I find this statement important as it indicates that for competent theatre artists liturgical rituals can in moments register as ineffective performance. The symbolic gestures and props without the believable deed do not hold the reoriginating effect desired from ritual.10 The Polish Catholic Church did not appreciate Grotowski's blasphemy in Apocalypsis, to put it mildly. In a highly publicized sermon, Cardinal Wyszyski called one of the 20th century's most celebrated performances "a filth" (in Osiski 2003:456), a reaction that only proves Grotowski was able to shock. What remains to be answered, however, is what does blasphemy achieve through shock? What, in the context of ritual, do we actually understand as "good theatre" and "good acting," and how does it relate to the ritual's efficacy? Additionally, what is the payoff in this "destruction of the symbolic" through shock? To answer these questions, one needs to analyze the differences between reproduction, reenactment, and reorigination in terms of mediation and representation. The key factor, and what differentiates these three terms both from one another and from the sacred, is their relationship to the deed. In a very basic way, one can define reorigination as the deed of returning to the original source; reenactment as an attempt to restore the deed of reorigination, with some key connection to the already lost source; and reproduction as a mechanical repetition of the part of the deed registered in the symbolic, where mediation and representation lie. The difference among these three notions is marked by their degree of deterioration in which the nonsymbolic aspect of the deed gradually vanishes, thus separating the signifier from the sacred. Grotowski's "reorigination" takes aim at the symbol and its metaphorical function to confront the sacred directly. The seemingly trivial substitution of a few drops of water with a bucketful in the actress's deed does more in this particular instance than overpower and destroy the symbolic gesture of the priest, and more than restore the original force of the metaphor of cleansing. The substitution shows the limit of all representation as an act of sublimation. Ultimately, one must face the fact that no quantity of the signifier will ever be able to replace the signified, even if the bucket "works." It "works" through the quality and truthfulness of the deed of the actress who destroys its symbolic function, leaving the spectators without a prop to mediate their confrontation with the sacred. Aimed against the religious signifier, but not exclusive to the religious worldview, blasphemy shocks because it unveils representation as representation and thus forces Man to stand face to face with the represented itelf. Blashemy shakes the foundation of the psychic investment, removes the sense of order, progress, and history in the relationship with the sacred, and confronts Man with the void where elemental fears reemerge as part of being. In Apocalypsis, confrontation with the sacred catalyzes the efficacy of the performance. With this destruction of the symbol, Grotowski reactualized myth within the immediacy of material reality as a "fact" taking place between actors and spectators. The premise of Apocalypsis

Grotowski to Richards

10.Andsomepriestswouldagreehere.RogerF.Repohl,apriest,scholar,andtheauthorof"LiturgyasVehicle" (1994)findsinGrotowski'sworkfromthelaterperiod(Artasvehicle)aperformance-deedabletorestorethe forceandfireoftenmissinginliturgy.HenotesthatseeingtheWorkcenter'sopusknownasDownstairs Actionand listeningtoGrotowskispeakmadehimrememberhisdaysasayoungparishpriestinaworking-classsuburbof LosAngeles,whenliturgyitselfwasan"Action."


involves a game, or rather a vulgar joke at a drinking party, in which the Simpleton becomes "the Chosen One": Simon Peter return[s] in determination to kneel before the bread again and say[s] to the Simpleton, with a wily smile: "You were born in Nazareth." They all grin at the Simpleton. "You are the Savior." They begin to laugh. "You died on the cross for them." The laughter becomes uproarious and the Simpleton simpers guilelessly back at them. "You are God." Then to Judas: "You are Judas..." and turning to the girl who is screeching uncontrollably: "Mary Magdalene." (Kumiega 1987:244) Barefoot, in an oversize black coat, holding a white cane,11 the Simpleton might be a cross between the village idiot and the seer: perfect for picking on and laughing at, but mysterious and dangerous enough to give the game the necessary tension. The biblical theme is here exposed as concrete human fact. Grotowski often located the archetype for this role in the Eastern Orthodox concept of the yurodivy, a holy fool who played his role for Christ's sake, a peculiar form of asceticism and saintly madness. The yurodivy is an eccentric vagrant who feigns madness, walking half-naked and talking in riddles. By renouncing all norms of decency, the yurodivy makes himself a socially disruptive spectacle. However, only a few see the yurodivy as God's messenger; the sinners perceive him as a madman and source of amusement, reacting violently to his offensive mode of social critique by beating him and chasing him away (Kobets 1998:305). As a phenomenon, the yurodivy aims at revitalizing or restoring a direct connection with the divine by destabilizing its established structure of representation, i.e., the institution that mediates between the divine and quotidian existence, making the divine bearable through a system of codes and symbols that merely separate humanity from the signified. Perceived as unbearable and as a violation of codes, confrontation with a yurodivy provokes violent reactions and often acts of cruelty. Violence against the yurodivy's humble sacrifice is not a representation but a reoccurrence of the event referred to in the biblical story; it appears spontaneously and out of order, unlike in rituals or passion plays that are regulated by social norms. Although (in some localized way) an institution itself--after all it has its name and tradition--the yurodivy is an unbearable fact, a spark of connection with the sacred, evidence rather than illustration of divine truth. Those confronted by the yurodivy are not merely spectators but rather participants and witnesses. Like the yurodivy, Apocalypsis moves against theatre, working as a mediator between the actor and the spectator, and turning them respectively into the one who does and the one who witnesses. This shift foregrounds the terms Grotowski adopted in his later work--"doer" and "witness." The spectators of Apocalypsis did not behave like spectators. They did not clap and often did not leave the room immediately after the performance ended; instead, they remained seated, maintaining complete silence. Some would stay for a long time; some would share and eat the bread left on the floor.12 As a consequence of the event and its transgression against illusion--and thus its challenge to the institution of theatre--they chose to act counter to conventional theatre behavior. Grotowski's intolerance for the hypocrisy often hidden under terms such as "tradition" or "cultural treasure" was frequently mentioned in his speeches of the period, for example in his "Reply to Stanislavsky" included in this issue: I think one should treat theatre as a house that has already been abandoned, as something unnecessary, as something not really indispensable. [...] What I am saying here is that the

11.InthelastversionofApocalypsisthecanewaseliminated. Kris Salata 12.Havingobservedthatpattern,Grotowskiaskedhisstaffmember,CzeslawSzarek,towaitaslongasnecessaryand allowthespectatorstoremainintheroomforaslongastheywished.Somewouldstaythereforanhourormore (Szarek1999).


function of theatre that was evident in the past is disappearing. What operates is more cultural automatism than need. (Grotowski [1969]2008a:32­33) To reconnect with the archetypal need for theatre--if such a need exists--Grotowski defined theatre in the most basic way as an event between spectator and actor in which human truth otherwise difficult to perceive becomes available. He looked for the revealed man (czlowiek) in the actor himself, thus making the theatrical event an act of confession: [...T]he actor should refuse to do with this personality of his that is known to others, worked out, calculated, prepared for others like a mask. By the way, it is often not one personality, but two, three, four... That's why I was able to discover that the actor should seek what I called--with Theophilus of Antioch--"his Man [Czlowiek]": "Show me your Man and I will show you my God." (Grotowski [1969] 2008b:41) The bishop of Antioch's expressed desire for showing and seeing parallels Grotowski's interest in seeing the actor "reveal himself, not to play another person, not to hide from another person" (Grotowski 1972b). These are key themes in Grotowski's lifework and legacy. When one looks more closely at Theophilus of Antioch's striking phrase in context, it expresses the dimension of performance and spectatorship that unveils itself in Apocalypsis, and subsequently transforms in Art as vehicle into doing and witnessing: But if you say, "Show me thy God," I would reply, "Show me yourself, and I will show you my God." Show, then, that the eyes of your soul are capable of seeing, and the ears of your heart are able to hear; for as those who look with the eyes of the body perceive earthly objects and what concerns this life, and discriminate at the same time between things that differ, whether light or darkness, white or black, deformed or beautiful, well-proportioned and symmetrical or disproportioned and awkward, or monstrous or mutilated; and as in like manner also, by the sense of hearing, we discriminate either sharp, or deep, or sweet sounds; so the same holds good regarding the eyes of the soul and the ears of the heart, that it is by them we are able to behold God. (in Roberts and Donaldson 1994) The phrases "eyes of the soul" and "ears of the heart" could be spoken by Mickiewicz's Romantic hero in Dziady, the poet who sings his songs with his soul. Theophilus's thoughts of a "whole Man" and the direct "organ-less" showing and seeing that erase the distance between God and Man--perhaps an early articulation of Artaud's concept of the body without organs-- corresponds with Grotowski's idea of direct perception of Man who, by dropping the veil of representation and self-presentation, becomes whole: What about perception? It is a release of Man [Czlowiek] and the world that he enters, like a bird enters the air. Then the eyes see, the ears hear as if for the first time, everything is new and first. Seeing like a bird, not like a thought of a bird. A bird, and not a thought about what's seen--thought is further away. Around there is the world, but man doesn't see it. Everything is veiled from him. How can one uncover the world? There are meetings that involve what is alive and organic. People give up masks, roles, and return to being with another. They enter the world like a bird enters space. (Grotowski 1979:140) Grotowski followed this desire to see like a bird--to see with his heart and to see the invisible--in the consecutive phases of his research: in paratheatrical projects with active participants; in Theatre of Sources through the search for forms and techniques within various traditions of embodied practice that could lead one to "begin to look for what the human being can do with his own solitude" (1995:120); and in Objective Drama research through the use of the craft of theatre as a means of approaching traditional performative techniques. At the end of this extended research trajectory Grotowski again chose to focus on a small group of performers with whom he could work on a long-term basis. At the Workcenter in Pontedera where he settled in 1986, he focused on what he considered the essential quality that


Grotowski to Richards

emerged in work, which he called "verticality." At this point he also sought the possibility of continuing this research and found the answer in Thomas Richards. Grotowski dedicated the last 13 years of his life to verticality and the process of transmission as understood in traditional initiatory practices. In his essay "From the Theatre Company to Art as vehicle," published in Richards's book At Work with Grotowski on Physical Actions, Grotowski attempts to explain the meaning behind the term: Verticality--we can see this phenomenon in categories of energy: heavy but organic energies (linked to the forces of life, to instincts, to sensuality), and other energies, more subtle. The question of verticality means to pass from a so-called coarse level--in a certain sense, one could say an "everyday level"--to a level of energy more subtle or even toward the higher connection. At this point to say more about it wouldn't be right. I simply indicate the passage, the direction. There, there is another passage as well: if one approaches the higher connection--that means, if we are speaking in terms of energy, if one approaches the much more subtle energy--then there is also the question of descending, while at the same time bringing this subtle something into the more common reality, which is linked to the density of the body. The point is not to renounce part of your nature--all should retain its natural place: the body, the heart, the head, something that is "under our feet" and something that is "over the head." All like a vertical line, and this verticality should be held taut between organicity and the awareness. Awareness means the consciousness which is not linked to language (the machine for thinking), but to Presence. (1995:125) In his 1997 Collège de France lectures, Grotowski clearly and simply stated that what he was looking for in Man, he sought through craft: "I am a craftsman in the field of human behavior under meta-daily conditions" (in Osiski 1998:222). Using the tools of the acting craft, Grotowski pursued research on "being with another" through a performing opus. It is crucial to remember, however, that the outer form of performance served as a necessary but ultimately secondary means toward the aim of seeing with one's heart, seeing the invisible, or seeing, as Derrida puts it, "at first sight what does not let itself be seen" (1994:149), which I call here "inner theatre." Art as vehicle creates a great deal of confusion for those unwilling or unable to drop theatrically conventional ways of seeing and reading performance. Many witnesses--including myself during my first encounter with Action (the Workcenter's opus directed by Richards since 1994)--cannot suspend their attachment to the outer theatre and remain preoccupied with reading and interpreting theatrical signs. Apocalypsis was still primarily a sign-making work. From 24 hours of material developed with the actors, Grotowski selected and composed a one-hour piece of dense signification created with the spectator in mind. But it was also a step outside of theatre and into the search for what appeared years later, ultimately realized in Art as vehicle. Direct, literal, factual, blasphemous, and transgressive, Apocalypsis was itself an act of the yurodivy, therefore not merely staged but done. Doing (as opposed to staging) the Gospels (see Attisani 2008), Grotowski and his actors treated biblical themes as a pretext for work in which passions, desires, and needs stripped away dramatic, theatrical, and human layers of role-playing. Only when the acting score was completely discovered did Grotowski introduce text--a composition of fragments from the Gospels, T.S. Eliot, Simone Weil, and Dostoyevsky--that the actors wove into their Apocalypsis scores.13 Devoid of interpretation but carried by the deed, words were simultaneously alienated from their literary context and embodied by the actor through the score.

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13.Grotowskiaskedtheactorstobringtextsthatweremeaningfultothemandusedthesetoarrangethetextof theperformance.


Grotowski's shift away from productions after Apocalypsis should be seen as a further destabilization of representation and a move to regather postmodern Man's fragmented self into a whole (a move that "gathers" in Heideggerian sense of reactivating elemental deeds, such as caring, giving, dwelling): Indeed it would be hard to argue whether or not bread is a symbol in Apocalypsis. Bread is something that lives, bread is a body. It is a child. This meaning has accumulated not as a symbol, but as something written into us. Only into us? It was written into our fathers. This is a true association, and not on the intellectual level. (Grotowski 1972a:37) Grotowski aims at restoring the function of the thing buried in language, disembodied as object and symbol. As a "body," a "child," bread is both gathered (vis-à-vis Heidegger) as bread and gathers--or fuses--Man with mankind. One could analyze the fusion Grotowski seeks as occurring initially between the signifier and the signified but ultimately directly between signifieds. To rediscover bread as bread--and simultaneously as corporeality and the collective sacred-- means to do with one's whole self and consequently to do away with representation. Figure 2. Thomas Richards and Mario Biagini, with Jørn Riegels Wimpel, One cannot simply resign Marie De Clerck, and Francesc Torrent Gironella in the background, in Action from making signs; immersed at the Church of John the Baptist, Cappadocia, Turkey, 2005. (Photo by in the symbolic order, we are Marcella Scopelliti; courtesy of The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and all sign-makers and signThomas Richards) readers, composers and executors of our ongoing narratives in daily life. The ordering power of these narratives operates along cultural archetypes, obeys laws of causality, and recharges itself from the desire for certainty (which in Freudian terms is the death drive). The master narrator in us constantly updates the story, knots up loose ends, and reconfigures the plot, all in an attempt to stay in charge. One cannot avoid making or reading signs on the stage, but one can fight against their dominance. Grotowski's initial approach, which we might call an "outer way," led him through an ongoing exposure and destruction of sign-making (e.g., dense signification, blasphemy, and/or literality) and, via the actor's craft, toward disabling mediated reception. This approach locates the import of the performance in the reception of the spectator, who consequently produces meaning. Eventually, Grotowski shifted his focus to an inner or doer's way, in which the performance primarily serves the performer's inner work, thus becoming a composition of organic actions-vehicles logically justified within the frame of the doers' creative work. The shift from the "outer" to the "inner" way is evident in Apocalypsis, although not there exclusively or entirely. Following the outer way, one unveils the sign's attempts to substitute for the referent, that is, for the factual element in the world. In other words, one exposes the substitution as substitution­one destroys representation while using its medium. This was Tadeusz Kantor's approach


Grotowski to Richards

Figure 3. Mario Biagini, Thomas Richards, Francesc Torrent Gironella, and Marie De Clerck in Action. The Church of John the Baptist, Cappadocia, Turkey, 2005. (Photo by Marcella Scopelliti; courtesy of The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards)

in his Theatre of Death, where he accepted the apparent prevalence of illusion only in order to "destroy it endlessly" (in Porbski 1997:151).14 The ongoing destruction of illusion, of human masks, and of other elements of the institution of mediation, set theatre against itself. Indeed, both Kantor and Grotowski were interested in the exposure and destruction of theatricality. While Kantor explored the extremes of outer theatre, Grotowski eventually resigned from the outer and moved toward inner theatre. However, in their extreme moves, both sought unmediated Man.

Already built into the nature of the Symbolic, the loss entailed by representation deepens through social and individual usage in agreement with the law of entropy. Both representation and usage are part of the institution of mediation. It is in representation, with its mediating power and its repetitive application, that the sacred finds and preserves its institution. At the very core of that institution lies the act of signification, or figuration, whose function is to supply a symbolic surrogate (a noun) for something to which we refer via an adjective, such as "holy," or "sacred." Blasphemy removes the figurative (as in Apocalypsis cum figuris) from the phenomenon of the sacred and forces it to ascend from the figure of language to the sphere of tangible life. In other words, the sacred moves from the social sphere to a concrete account of an individual in confrontation with the self. Blasphemy is an act of courage insofar as it enables individual, direct confrontation with the divine Signified, removing mediation, its power, its rule, and its enslaving allure of safety. It removes the Other as institution from the relationship I-the sacred in me.

The Unmediated I-You

The main dramatic conflict of Apocalypsis is located between the mediated sacred and Man yearning for a direct experience of it. By using the term "sacred," I refer to the tangible possibility in a human being that exists when facing another when, as Theophilus of Antioch puts it, a direct showing and seeing unveil Man, or when they simultaneously and directly unveil Man and God. Anything short of this directness constitutes mediation, or the third who "at the most assented to heart of my identity to myself, [...] pulls the strings" (Lacan 2006:436). For God, and particularly human-God as already a mediation between Man and the sacred (Derrida 1978:243), is also mediated by the Word placed by the scriptures at the beginning of the Narrative and as the seed in Mary's womb. Thus God is doubly mediated as the signifier and through the narrative. The doing of the yurodivy, as in Apocalypsis, aligns Man with the narrative in a search for the divine directly present in the human experience of life.

Kris Salata 14.TadeuszKantorsays:"Iamagainstillusion./ButIamnotofanorthodoxmind,/Iknowwellthatwithout illusion/thereisnotheatre./Iallowforillusiontoexist./Becausethisway,Icankeepdestroyingitendlessly" (inPorbski1997).


The impossibility of living in the sacred and the simultaneous entropic fallenness of representation onto the signifier as merely a representation of itself might in fact constitute what is left of the "tragic" in the post-Auschwitz world. Human dignity can no longer be found in a symbolic gesture of sharing symbolic bread as the metaphoric body of Christ. Instead, real bread torn and devoured without regard to social convention reveals its metonymic nature as unsatisfied desire, unable to be sublimated by representation, including that of the narrative of the Last Supper where bread is already fetishized as a metaphor for the body. Martin Buber's formulation of two basic modes of relating to the world, "I-Thou" and "I-It, " offers a way to think about Grotowski's research on the nonrepresentational aspects of performance. The relation I-Thou leaves no room for the symbolic structure. When placed between Man ("I") and the sacred ("Thou"), but also between humans, as "I in You," the signifier assumes the function of a grammatical "It." In other words, I-Thou operates without representation, thus without the Figure. In this context, Grotowski's attempts at the directness of I-Thou parallel the attempts of those who revitalized Christianity (St. Augustine, the Gnostics, St. Francis, Meister Eckhart) or even those of the Zen masters, a direction of associations explored by Richard Schechner in his "Exoduction: Shape-shifter, Shaman, Trickster, Artist, Adept, Director, Leader, Grotowski" (Schechner 1997:458­92). The key factor in these examples is the effort to restore unmediated experience. In I and Thou, Buber talks of yearning for the impossible as a paradox: "without It a human being cannot live. But whoever lives only with that is not human" ([1923] 1996:85). For Buber, the world is twofold, with two basic words that are themselves twofold: I-You and I-It, "thus the I of man is twofold" (53). Therefore I-It cannot be said with one's whole being: The basic word I-You can be spoken only with one's whole being. The concentration and fusion into a whole being can never be accomplished by me, can never be accomplished without me. I require a You to become; becoming I, I say You. All actual life is an encounter. (64) Seen in light of Buber's discourse, Grotowski's search for human wholeness by definition aims against the "It" of the signifier. In I-It, the mode of being turns the world into objects (i.e., the bearers of characteristics; graspable, analyzable, static entities which for Heidegger result from the post-Socratic mode of science, marked by writing). As a consequence, in I-It, possession is possible and eagerly sought. Thus the primary modus operandi of daily life turns a human being into an It of another. Hegel's Master-Slave dialectic or Sartre's concept of turning the Other into an object of my gaze can serve as examples of philosophical narratives of the I-It relationship. In the realm of Grotowski's practice, the I-It operates as a difficulty in human interaction. Thomas Richards puts it this way: Let's analyze what takes place on many occasions in human relations. There is an aspect of human nature that to a certain extent likes to operate on strength. So, if there is a polemic between two persons, as one becomes stronger or more dominant, the other--since they are linked in the polemic--generally becomes weaker. The one goes up and the other goes down. But the latter doesn't want to go down, so he struggles to go up. When he does, the other goes down. We can see this in human relations all the time. For example, in the moment when two lovers are fighting: they are identified with their polemic. When one laughs, the other feels bad. Often even if the first is merely demonstrating she feels good, the other starts to feel weaker and subsequently feel the need to show he is okay, which might eventually cause the first person to go down. These subtle games are often at play when we face one another. We lock ourselves in a kind of never-ending binary hell. And this is part of our existential trap, or what seems to me to be the basis of the existential trap of the human being, part of our prison. (2004)


Grotowski to Richards

In practice, in Richards's description, the I-It becomes entangled in a Darwinist contest, expressed as a degree of possession from which the doer must learn to resign. This resignation means a removal of daily protection from the other and an exposure of one's vulnerability. A significant portion of Grotowski's and Richards's research (and indeed expertise) involves creating the necessary conditions for the doers to abandon their social armor. When they succeed, the I-You begins to operate: If we give attention to the quality of the way we see another human being-- seeing with an active comprehension, without fear--a special inner territory can begin to open in which the word "we" is preponderant. You can notice this territory even in your daily life, in the special moments of a living and intimate converFigure 4.Thomas Richards, with Pere Sais Martinez and Marie sation, for example, when the De Clerck in the background, in Action at the Church of John positive and negative of the the Baptist, Cappadocia, Turkey, 2005. (Photo by Marcella person to whom you are Scopelliti, courtesy of The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and speaking is not to your Thomas Richards) detriment. There is no power game, let's say. Instead, you are riding a wave of empathy, as if your partner's positive is your positive and his negative, your negative. In this kind of union there is just the beginning of this special action you were detecting. (Richards 2008:131). The modality that this level of work offers and requires is one of event. In "What Is an Event," Gilles Deleuze recaps the Stoics' view, in which the world is made of two kinds of things: "bodies with their tensions, physical qualities, actions and passions, the corresponding `states of affairs,' " and "incorporeal entities," which are effects of bodies that relate. The latter "are not things or facts, but events" (1993:42­48; emphasis added). While "event" is a mode of the unveiling unmediated now, corporeal action unfolds as destiny, with a designation thus with the signifier. In Buber's terms, the opposition event/ signifier that I propose here translates into I-You (relation) and I-It (experience). If, as Buber claims, "all actual life is an encounter" ([1923] 1996:64), then life is negotiated between these two modes, with the mode of the signifier dominating at the level of daily human interaction. The notion of possession divides these modes by existing only with the signifier, the structure, and history (I-It), and ceasing to exist with the event (I-You). An owned "event" becomes a

Kris Salata 118

signifier of the authority of the owner-narrator; it becomes a historical entry, since history is a form of ownership over the past, and ownership is a fantasy as well as an exercise of power. Buber thinks along the same lines: "Whoever says You does not have something; he has nothing. But he stands in relation" (55). So if I-You is a mode of relation unreduced to transaction (an unrestricted flow between two people), I-It is a mode of a mediated experience ordered as history. However, if I-It orders the world, an ordered world is not the world order, but merely a world livable: "Without It a human being cannot live. But whoever lives only with that is not a human" (85). The significance of Buber's thought here lies in his ability to capture the difference between "being" and "existence" as different relations the "I" has with the world, and not as a phenomenon exclusive to the "I" (as in cogito ergo sum). In Grotowski's work, "being" as I-You is a sought-after form of unmediated relationship with the world, despite the necessity of I-It to which being must devolve. As I-You, one operates exposed, unprotected but whole, while as I-It one negotiates survival, safety, and comfort. In his description of an encounter involving one's whole being, Buber reaches something remarkably resonant with theatre practice, particularly that of Grotowski and now Richards. One can find it in Richards's description of his experience as a doer, where he uses the metaphor of a highway through which one dissolves: You cannot assume your own tempo-rhythm, for example. The logic of "I follow you for the tempo, the tuning, the rhythm of the song" always has to be respected. But the moment may arrive in which it's as if the limits of what you perceive as "I" expand, become more transparent; nevertheless, you continue to respect the score. This "transparency" can happen when the work is on a good level. Then, in relation to the inner life, the highway is open and all is connected. The process that flows in your partner also flows in you, as if there's no difference. Some-thing is appearing and you just let it do its thing. (Richards 2008:132­33) Richards describes an event to which I can relate as a witness, but not as an observer. The moment I begin to distance myself, to read the performance, the doers become bodies in space, completely impenetrable (frontal) to me. And even as a witness I can't say that I really know what Richards is talking about, other than that he speaks of something real to him that takes place in meeting another face to face, and that his words resonate with my experience. The relation of I-Thou designates what Grotowski calls "true meeting," which the unveiling person enters when she comes towards an other. There, the theatre of revealing becomes to a large degree the theatre of the I where, as Emmanuel Levinas puts it, "truth is not grasped by a dispassionate subject who is a spectator of reality, but by a commitment in which the other remains in the otherness" (2002:67). The otherness can preserve its integrity because, as Heidegger would put it, the I "lets it be." Levinas, who explores the link between Heidegger and Buber, sees in the meeting of I and Thou "the act of being being acted": The Relation cannot be identified with a "subjective" event because the I does not represent the Thou but meets it. The meeting, moreover, is to be distinguished from the silent dialogue the mind has with itself [...]; the I-Thou meeting does not take place in the subject but in the realm of being. [...] The interval between the I and Thou, the Zwischen, is the locus where being is being realized. (65) Levinas positions the human not as the subject but rather as the articulation of the meeting: "Man does not meet, he is the meeting." As the articulation, Man "is not at the centre insofar as he is a thinking subject, but with respect to his whole being, since only a total commitment can be the realization of his fundamental situation" (66). What happens to the I when it is relating to the Thou? What happens to the I when two performers face each other in an opus? The act of unveiling in the Zwischen opens the possibility for reciprocal inclusion, in which the I is simultaneously abandoned and found in the Thou.


Grotowski to Richards

Figure 5. Thomas Richards in Action in Vallicelle, Italy, 1995. (Photo by Alain Volut; courtesy of The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards) Here one approaches the fragile point where Buber's philosophy keeps the I in simultaneous relatedness and distancing. The I does not forget or lose itself in the other, but rather "sharply maintains its active reality" (Levinas 2002:68). This double movement of relateness and distancing makes the I-Thou relation for Levinas not "psychological or natural," but rather ontological (66). In ordinary seeing and in the quotidian encounter with an other as "It," the world remains external and frontal. Yet frontality is not just a problem related to socially constructed simulacra to which human authenticity surrenders itself and from which Grotowski wants to liberate it. Frontality emerges as a secondary concealment or impenetrability in the one who stops refusing oneself to oneself and begins to come forward to meet an other. It is contained in the desire and inability to penetrate, which Heidegger would phrase with a reversed blame--being refuses itself to us--while in fact we refuse ourselves to being. And here Grotowski's project can no longer be taken as a search for the utopian brotherhood of humanity (as many do in feeding their nostalgia for the 1960s), but rather as a search for a full meaning of human unconcealment when it refuses itself to us. And it is precisely here that Heideggerian phenomenology with its thinkingperceiving subject at the center shows its limitation as, theatrically speaking, traditional stage/ audience orientation. For we can only endlessly chase whatever refuses itself to our discourse, hoping to reach nearness but never finally reaching the thing itself. The spectator, the scholar, creates frontality with her own concealment in language, scholarship, and spectatorship. Asking what it means to reveal oneself, Grotowski already resigns from the stage/audience and subject/ object dichotomy, and works toward his answer in a plain room without observers (but with eventual witnesses) where he uses knowledge as craft to bring one towards another and have them face each other. There, the mutual refusal is challenged by the weakening of the "us/ object" dichotomy, for indeed nothing can refuse itself to us if "we" and "it" become "I" and "You," as Buber has it. Coming nearer the step that follows after someone has already unveiled and begun to move forward to face another requires a labor about which Heidegger is silent. As

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Levinas says, "It is impossible to remain a spectator of the Thou" (2002:66), for in the meeting that follows the unveiling, when one comes forward, the other must instantly respond. In that response, the other's unveiling comes as an event. The fact, the encounter of I-Thou, exists strictly as unmediated directness (with one's whole being). It cannot be possessed. Thus, seen in light of Buber's thought, Grotowski's theatre in Apocalypsis aimed at directness rather than distance, being rather than existence, immediacy and possibility rather than history, and relating rather than experience. For "experience is remoteness from You" (Buber [1923] 1996:50).

The Doer

In spite of its active implication, doing is closer to letting than to forcing. Recalling the creative process of Apocalypsis, Grotowski considers "resignation" a key notion for the actor: I mentioned the resignation that dictated this thing. Even inside me it was not conscious. Not even I was conscious of that. One day during the tour after the first premiere, one of my colleagues said something positive about my work, and I replied to him, "I was lost so many times during it." He then said, "All I saw the whole time was resignation from pretending." Resignation. I believe this was the only theme of our work on Apocalypsis cum figuris. (Grotowski [1969] 2008b:50) This "resignation from pretending" brings the work from the realm of illusion out into the facticity of the world, turning it into a deed aimed against humanity's descent into role-playing within social narratives. To "resign from pretending" also means to reveal the imposition of convention, of something that represents us but is not of us. Between being and existence, between I-Thou and I-It, and between doing and role-playing, falls a screen of mediation that like a scenario orders the unexpected into a frame of recognizable possibilities. In this context, "not to pretend" means to resign from reacting mechanically in life and beginning to act/do. How does one act rather than react to the world? "World" here indicates a structure of signs that engages interpretation, yields meaning, and produces narratives; in other words, the world represents and mediates rather than directs Symbolic order. People become direct in it when pushed by the extremes of desire, love, or suffering, and become whole beings confronting what Lacan calls "the Real." These moments of spontaneous organicity can be starting points for the development of the one who "is the way he is": It is hard to tell how the symbolic operates in what you call "performance." Today, the symptom is much more important than the sign to us. [Ludwik] Flaszen was analyzing it at one point, but I will say it differently: what is important is sharing the whole human being as you share bread. When man doesn't hide, when he reveals his whole self--he is holy and pure. Then man is the way he is--I am what I am. He doesn't defend himself. That's all. Not that this will mean that, and that. But rather it all comes out from the tangibility of his act, from the fact that for a moment one is the way one is. (Grotowski 1972a:37) Behind Grotowski-the-destroyer-of-signs stands the seeker for directness in meaning, where the act becomes fact, an event presencing the actor in his deed performed not in dramatic but rather in real time and space. The word "presencing" re-signifies "presence" as deed: the act of resigning from the veil. Grotowski's transition to audience-less research came with a crystallization of his interest in doing and in the task of the one who does, by which he sought to recover the forgotten meaning of "actor" as a "person of action," one of presence rather than representation, an actor who is rather than a sign maker, even if he "plays himself," reaching an iconic identity with the object of representation. In his homage to Ryszard Cielak, Grotowski sees doing as an act of uncomGrotowski to Richards 121

promised giving, an act primarily between the actor and his process in relation to the director-witness: You may notice in the film that at the end of the monologues a particular reaction appears, shaking of the legs which had its source around the solar plexus. We never worked on it as on something that should be part of the score. It was an autonomous psychophysical reaction resulting not only from the work of the body but also from the entire nervous system, and it seemed entirely organic and matter-of-course. Simply, the actor's act was real. This was the diagnosis of a psychiatrist who saw the performance and who then added: "You have reached something that I always considered impossible." Some symptoms, even if never sought, repeated themselves during each performance because the centers of energy became activated each time. And why did they become activated each time? Because for Cielak as well as for myself it was impossible to even think that something like this could be "produced." His offering had to be real every time. Hundreds of times during rehearsals, not to mention hundreds and hundreds of times during the performances, his act was always real. (Grotowski 1996:27­28) Grotowski points to the symptom manifested directly by a "real" act: an involuntary sign that provides evidence of the invisible internal process. What matters to Grotowski (and should matter to the spectator) is not the manifestation of that symptom and its reading as directorial effect, but rather its emergence as proof of the work being done below the level of the signifier. Something lively and real shows its trace in a well-articulated score. While the actor's work can be read as part of a larger performance text, the bulk of the deed takes place in the inner theatre and is received directly, outside of meaning and without a meaning--for all meaning is "post-evental" (Badiou 2003:16). The deed is perceptible as a resonance in the spectator--thus an event, and thus without representation--in silence. What can be spoken of, however, is the knowledge that leads to this work, along with some objective processes that the actor repeatedly experiences. We can also near it with language through the discourse on "being. " The notion of performance text and the actor as a body on the stage dominate contemporary thinking about theatre. Not only does Grotowski's mature phase of research as and in performance (as well as that of the Workcenter under Richards's direction) become unapproachable by a well-established body of semiotic-based critical literature (Kowzan, Pavis, De Marinis, Ruffini, Fischer-Lichte), but indeed also by most conventional scholarship surrounding reception. To begin reapproaching the work Grotowski and Richards did at their Workcenter, one first needs to think of the nature of the "event" and the phenomenon of "meeting." In his productions, Grotowski found the substance of his work beyond the sphere of the visible and readable. Initially, he attempted to reach this substance by means of the simultaneous reduction of the theatre's sign-making apparatus and the dense layering of performance texts. Consequently, he reduced the work of theatre to the actors' labor: At first, there are some questions: Why a stage set? Why costumes? Why play with lights? Why makeup? Why recorded music? Why occupy oneself with all this if theatre may be simply a search for truth between people? And not in the sense of the profession, but on a purely human level. (1979:139) In another text, he adds: And it is always then that what is not consciously fixed, what is less perceptible but somehow more essential than physical action, is released. It is still physical, and already pre-physical. I call it "impulse." Every physical action is preceded by a subcutaneous movement that flows from inside the body, unknown, but palpable. An impulse does not exist without a partner, not in the sense of an acting partner, but another human existence. (Grotowski [1969] 2008a:37)

Kris Salata 122

An "impulse," as described by Grotowski, is the objectively perceptible element indicating a process directed towards a partner in the mode of I-You, in which signs, like property, cease to exist. There is no "communication" in I-You, but rather a "co-being." What happens between the actor and the spectator "in search of truth between people" (Grotowski 1979:139) is an event that unfolds within the performing score. This event is not only a structure of signs and thus not only an object of aesthetic perception. The form itself doesn't contain it, yet it is able to carry it. In other words, a mimetic reproduction of the form may not produce the event. The articulated score is a visible vehicle, which may be able to deliver, through induction, something otherwise imperceptible. The score neither represents the event nor presents it, but merely provides a possibility for it to emerge. That event happens as an unmediated human fact that only partially corresponds to a semiotic reading of the score. Thus a reading that relies solely on the externally perceptible details of the score inevitably leads to misreading the work.

The Doer's Presencing

Even though the inner theatre doesn't exist apart from articulated forms (i.e., presentation), its actual work is nonrepresentational. What the doer arrives to through his score is both presentational (has components enabling it to be understood by a witness, if present) and representational (it is repeatable and contains other recognizably representational elements, e.g., bits of text, story, simple objects). Carefully composed, the score is a vehicle for the intended and expected event, unrepeatable and unmarked except with what constitutes the inner surge of life felt: Impulses that flow from the body, from organicity, emerge in important moments of life. In the moments of great joy, in the moments of love and evil, in the most dense moments of our lives. When we are not divided, but whole. [...] It is a particular doing. It is like a stream, like something that flows in time and space. It doesn't close itself. It is always in motion. Only it has preset points of support. And it always has an initial phase, needed so that people stop being afraid of each other. (Grotowski 1979:140­41) Grotowski observes that when a human being acts "with his own self," his act unfolds as a particular form. This form allows truth to appear, and this truth is the truth of being.

"Unreading" a Performance

When I witnessed Action for the first time in June 2004 in Poland, I could not stop myself from constructing a narrative and searching for a meaning, and consequently I left confused, although not unmoved. Since then, I have seen Action numerous times as I followed the Workcenter during its Tracing Roads Across project through its residencies in Poland, Austria, Russia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Italy. I have since tuned my attention to the subtle work the opus performs under its outer form: the work of the inner theatre, where what is at play is the fragile nature of human facticity unmarked by the sign. There are numerous scholarly "readings" of the performance texts of Akropolis, The Constant Prince, and Apocalypsis cum figuris, in which "the unutterable []--unutterably--contained in what has been uttered" (Wittgenstein in Monk 1990:151). Yet the same approach in regards to Art as vehicle leaves the "unwritten" out, making it practically untraceable in the writing. Lisa Wolford concludes her article on Action with an admission of failing to capture this dimension of the work she clearly sensed as a witness: "But there is also something else present in this structure--another register, more mysterious, almost unknown" (1997:424). She stops there, wisely passing in silence what we cannot speak about, as Wittgenstein would have it (1974:89). When speaking about Art as vehicle, we are left to struggle with language and revive old words or invent new ones, as when we try to speak about "being." Grotowski and Richards did not invent the mystery of performance, but they certainly restored it to its origin.


Grotowski to Richards

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Porbski, Mieczyslaw 1997 1999 Tadeusz Kantor: wiadectwa, Rozmowy, Komentarze. Warszawa: Murator. "Powrót Chrystusa." In Teksty z lat 1965-69 by Jerzy Grotowski, 167­77. Wroclaw: Wiedza o kulturze. "Liturgy as Vehicle." America, 24 September:18­20. Heart of Practice: The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards. London: Routledge. Personal conversation with author. Checked and authorized by Thomas Richards. Vienna, Austria, October­November. Ante-Nicene Fathers, volume 2. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. "Exoduction: Shape-shifter, Shaman, Trickster, Artist, Adept, Director, Leader, Grotowski." In The Grotowski Sourcebook, edited by Lisa Wolford and Richard Schechner, 458­92. London: Routledge. Puzyna, Konstanty

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Schechner, Richard, and Theodore Hoffman 1997a [1968] "Interview with Grotowski." In The Grotowski Sourcebook, edited by Richard Schechner and Lisa Wolford, 38­55. London: Routledge. Szarek, Czeslaw 1999 TV interview. Jerzy Grotowski: Próba portretu [Jerzy Grotowski: An Attempt at a Portrait]. Maria Zmarz-Koczaniewicz, dir., Telewizja Polska S.A. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. London: Routledge. "Action: The Unrepresentable Origin." In The Grotowski Sourcebook, edited by Lisa Wolford and Richard Schechner, 409­26. London: Routledge. "Grotowski­Niszczyciel Znaków." Dialog 8 (Sierpie):127­31.

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