ISSN 2451-2966


THE CURSE inspired by a play by Stanisław Wyspiański, directed by Oliver Frljić, premiere: 18.02.2017, Powszechny Theatre in Warsaw. Photographer: Magda Hueckel.
Paweł Mościcki

The Village Is on Fire! The Village Is Burning Down! Notes on the Oliver Frljić Production of Klątwa in Warsaw


The text is a critical assessment of various aesthetical and political strategies used in The Curse directed by Oliver Frljič. It starts with the hypothesis that what is staged in the performance is not only the problem with which it is overtly dealing (namely the dominant position of the Catholic Church in Poland) but also mechanisms and symbolical codes that surround and condition theater as such. It is only together with the excessive and often highly ideologized reactions by the press and audience that one can understand it as the theater in the extended field. It's critical load but also its gentleness, or even tenderness. The biggest scandal in the Polish theater in recent years is in fact organized around a fundamental deadlock, which points at the emptiness of society at large. Thus the real curse consists of the repetitive clash between the utopian vision of critical art and the overwhelming production of fake symbols organizing society around the quintessential, yet undisclosed, void. The production acknowledges this deadlock and exacerbates it in order to exorcise it. And perhaps its strongest effect stems from the fact that it is impossible to distinguish between its success and its failure.


aesthetics and politics; artistic utopia; critical theater; ideology

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Paweł Mościcki

(1981), PhD, philosopher, essayist and translator. Assistant professor at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. His articles and translations have appeared in such publications as PrincipiaSztuka i filozofiaArteriePamiętnik LiterackiRes Publica NowaKresyGlissandoLiteratura na ŚwiecieDialog and Teatr. The translator of books by Alain Badiou, Derek Attridge, Slavoj Žižek and Jacques Rancière. Editor of the volume Maurice Blanchot: Literatura extremalna (2007) and author of the books Polityka teatru. Eseje o sztuce angażującej (2008), Godard. Pasaże (2010), Idea potencjalności. Możliwość filozofii według Giorgio Agambena (2013) and My też mamy już przeszłość. Guy Debord i historia jako pole bitwy (2015).  Member of the editorial team of the journal Widok. Teorie i praktyki kultury wizualnej.