A theatrical meditation inspired by Black Square on a White Background by Kasimir Malevich, the poetry of Bolesław Leśmian, Janusz Palikot’s Nothing-Nothing, Cezary Wodziński’s Kairos, Mount Analogue by René Daumal, and the thoughts of U. G. Krishnamurti.
In the middle of the stage, enormous frames with the white background of Malevich’s painting move from their place, defying their artist’s intention, pulled on a rope by Krzysztof Zawadzki-Orfeusz. The inner void that replaces the enigmatic staticity of the black square is filled with dynamic multimedia projections and laser shows, corresponding with an evocative and exciting stream of poetry and philosophical digressions. The silence strikingly depicted by the voiceless victim in the concentration-camp outfit (Olga Belinskaia, in a guest appearance) is shattered by a terrifyingly evocative rap.
In one of the play’s first sequences, Roman Gancarczyk plays a minimalist accompaniment to Czesław Miłosz’s Orpheus and Eurydice. The play thus begins with a decent to Hades, where Eros and Thanatos are inextricably interwoven. Krzysztof Garbaczewski gives viewers an attractive peek under the skirts of reality, a journey into regions that only poetry can touch and describe. The director and author of the adaptation virtuosically adapts the work of Leśmian, Miłosz, and Celan, the philosophy of Heidegger and the spirituality of the East, expressed, in part, through complex choreographic compositions. Yet above all, the avant-garde’s haughty delusions of expressing the absolute through art collide with the prose of the quotidian, inevitably veering toward death, and, above all, the inconceivable threat of the Holocaust, after which remains only silence.
“Nothing is a play one watches with wide-eyed fascination (…). For it is a universal tale of the gravity of the big questions, of the critical moment after which there is ‘nothing.’ This formally complex tale is worth delving into.”
Łukasz Gazur, Dziennik Polski No. 77
“Listening to the poetry is a great pleasure (especially as rendered by Roman Gancarczyk), and also a surprise, because we rarely hear poems in the theatre nowadays. But Nothing is not a contemporary rendition of Rhapsodic Theatre; we are not only there to delight in the beauty of the word – here, the word is locked into the dense world on stage, which assaults us with all kinds of stimuli.”
Joanna Targoń, Gazeta Wyborcza – Kraków online