If you are experiencing problems downloading PDF or HTML fulltext, our helpdesk recommend clearing your browser cache and trying again. If you need help in clearing your cache, please click here . Still need help? Email help@ingentaconnect.com

Re-Membering the Mountain: Grotowski's Deep Ecology

$25.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Buy Article:

Abstract:

A cascade of images hit me like warm rain when I heard that Polish theatre director Jerzy Grotowski had died of leukaemia on 14 January 1999. A water pump at the edge of a pasture, wild blueberries, flames illuminating faces, a brass key, spires of a castle against grey sky, blisters. In 1977 I participated in the Mountain Project at the Teatr Laboratorium in Wroclaw, Poland. The countryside outside the city provided a sensuous container for a journey that was personal and communal, material and metaphoric. Walking day and at night, sometimes in pouring rain, participants were lead on a silent trek through fields and forests; then up a mountain to Grodziec castle. The ‘work’ continued in and around the castle: night walks, running in the forest, improvised movement, silent vigils. Each exercise was designed to interrupt self-conscious, everyday behaviour and thus provoke unmediated, ‘direct’ experience of the world.

Like the Laboratory's other paratheatrical experiments (1970–78), which shifted the company's emphasis from public performance to participatory experiences, the Mountain Project resisted analysis, defied observation, privileged exploration and process, and produced no discrete artistic product. In 1978 Grotowski himself quashed all attempts to theorise about paratheatre, saying, ‘when there is no division between actor and spectator, when every participant of the process is a person who is doing, then a description ostensibly from the outside, […] one that tries to grasp what is happening and why, […] can only lead to misunderstandings […] Only a description “from within” is possible here’ (Kumiega 1985: 86). Consequently, all discussion about what the paratheatrical experiments were meant to achieve and whether or not the work was ‘successful’ became suspect. Yet to omit the paratheatrical projects of the Polish Theatre Lab from scrutiny and analysis is also to abandon what they can, through reflection, continue to teach us.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3726/978-3-0353-0375-9_18

Publication date: January 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Performing Nature
    The essays in this volume explore the borderland between ecology and the arts. Informed by psychoanalysis and cultural materialism, contributors to the first part, 'Spectacle: Landscape and Subjectivity', look at ways in which particular social and scientific experiments, theatre and film productions and photography either reinforce or contest our ideas about nature and human-human or human-animal relations and identities. The second part, 'World: Hermeneutic Language and Social Ecology', investigates political protest, social practice art, acoustic ecology, dance theatre, family therapy and ritual in terms of social philosophy. Contributors to the third part, 'Environment: Immersiveness and Interactivity', explore architecture and sculpture, site-specific and mediatised dance and paratheatre through radical theories of urban and virtual space and time, or else phenomenological philosophy. The final part, 'Void: Death, Life and the Sublime', indicates the possibilities in dance, architecture and animal behaviour of a shift to an existential ontology in which nature has 'the capacity to perform itself'.
  • Submit a Paper
  • Purchase hard copy print edition
  • Learn more about Peter Lang @ GSE Research
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
Related content

Tools

Favourites

Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more