ISSN 2451-2966


Agata Adamiecka-Sitek

Poles, Jews and Aesthetic Experience: On the Cancelled Theatre Production by Olivier Frljić


The article analyses the notorious affair of the censorship imposed on Oliver Frljić’s production at the Stary Theatre in Kraków, where in November 2013, a week before the premiere, the director of the Stary Theatre decided to halt work on the production The Un-Divine Comedy. Remains. The production invoked Konrad Swinarski’s renowned 1965 version, focusing on investigating how the famous director and his company worked with the anti-Semitic themes that permeated Zygmunt Krasiński’s Romantic-era text. This issue, which continues to cause major controversy in Poland, together with the radical model of political theatre proposed by Frljić, led to the crisis that resulted in the censorial decision. The author argues that this is a symptomatic case for Poland, exposing factors of ideology, power and aesthetic that caused it. The analysis reveals the impasse at which critical theatre in Poland found itself, mostly due to a lack of consideration of the mechanisms of the theatre medium, the dominant aesthetic seeking to anaesthetise recipients using the category of beauty and professionalism. The article also aims to analyse the process of work and model of theatre proposed by Frljić as one of the ways to overcome the limitations it reveals.


anaesthesia; anti-Semitism; agonism; censorship; institutional criticism;

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Agata Adamiecka-Sitek

(1974), PhD, graduate in cultural studies from the University of Silesia. Author of the book Teatr i tekst. Inscenizacja w teatrze postmodernistycznym (2006) as well as several dozen essays and articles published in the journals Dialog, Didaskalia, Teatr, Notatnik Teatralny and essay collection. Founder and editor of two publication series – Inna Scena and Nowe Historie – and editor of numerous books on theatre. Recently led the project and was on the editorial board of the first edition of Jerzy Grotowski’s Teksty zebrane. Works at the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute, where she manages academic projects, including a programme of research on Polish theatre from gender and queer perspectives. Research on construction of gender and sexuality in Grotowski’s theatre was also the subject of the semester-long course which she designed in 2011 for the Jerzy Grotowski Institute. Worked with Marta Górnicka on the Chorus of Women project. Teaches at the National Academy of Dramatic Art, and in gender studies at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences.