Epilogue Performing Humanity: Tensions and Continuities

  • Teemu Paavolainen
Part of the Cognitive Studies in Literature and Performance book series (CSLP)


Let me begin with one final take on Kantor and Grotowski. Having argued, throughout, that their work is prototypically related to “objects” and the “actor,” respectively, the merest sampling of international reviews seems to betray a different dynamic. Contrary to Grotowski’s humane reputation, contemporary discussions of Akropolis see it as “dramatiz[ing] the failure of humanism” (Margaret Croyden), portraying “humanity in such a condition of degradation that the humanity itself is flickering like a guttering candle” (Clive Barnes). Where Peter Brook traces in it a quality of “pure evil” (“something truly nasty, truly repellent”), Irving Wardle reports “an objective view of man as an animal much given to cruelty and easily destroyed.” Elizabeth Hardwick relates that its “only plot is suffering, blackness, desperation”—constant “torment, fear, mockery, persecution, submission” that “continues unto death.”1


Virtual Reality Motion Capture Digital Performance Ecological Ethic Utter Negation 
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© Teemu Paavolainen 2012

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  • Teemu Paavolainen

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