Witkacy a provocative experimentalist

“Witkacy is by birth, by race, to the very marrow of his bones an artist. He lives exclusively by and for art.  And his relationship to art is profoundly dramatic; he is one of those tormented spirits who in art seek the solution not to problems of success, but to the problem of their own being.”   – Tadeusz Boy Zelenski (1921)

As I am looking at Witkacy today, I see many different things I have not seen when I was introduced to him in my early high school years.  He always fascinated all of us young adults with his craziness and willingness to challenge himself and others with everything he has done in life.  For a long time forgotten and misunderstood by many in the communist and post-communist Poland, now rediscovered again as a precursor of the absurd theater with a bit of surrealism at its core.

To these days I remember his provocative pictures in which he disguised himself using his facial expressions mostly done under the use of alcohol and drugs. I could not get through his novels, his plays were rarely done at that time.  Finally, when I got my acting diploma I had the privilege to work with one of the directors, Wanda Laskowska, who rediscovered Witkacy as a dramatist and directed “Shoemakers.”   Working with her gave me an opportunity to look at Witkacy at a different angle and understand better his ideas and the style.