Posts Tagged ‘Collections’

Puppets from the Puppet Theatre in Rabka

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011, was the day before the 30th anniversary of the proclamation of martial law in Poland in 1981. I remember very well this dark, dark day, when the dream of Solidarność and our hope for the end of the Cold War was crashed by Wojciech Jaruzelski (and the Soviets). That Monday seemed a good moment to visit the archive of the Rabcio-Zdrowotek Puppet Theatre, since after all Jaruzelski was very much seen as a puppet himself.

Jerzy Kolecki Posters from the Puppet Theatre in Rabka

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Polish artist Paulina Olowska took me to her show at Galeria ZPAFGaleria ZPAF, a small gallery in Krakau (South of Poland), where she displayed a selection of posters designed by Jerzy Kolecki (*1925) in the 1970s and 1980s. They advertised plays by the Rabcio-Zdrowotek Puppet Theatre in Rabka, a small town south of Krakau. On the occasion, Olowska published a set of postcards reproducing the posters, wrapped into an interview with the artist. A short excerpt:

Paulina Olowska: In 1954, you graduated with a degree in painting from the Cracow Academy of Fine Arts. How did you come to start creating stage design and posters for a Puppet Theatre in Rabka?

Jerzy Kolecki: My plan for life didn’t include theatre. I came to Rabka with my art school diploma in search of work—and I found it in the Rabcio-Zdrowotek Puppet Theatre as an actor. I travelled with the troupe, in the back of a truck, even in the freezing cold. In those days, the Theatre didn’t have its own performance space yet. The building was just a studio and two rooms: for the administration and the management. The performance spaces were sanatoriums and school gyms. The theatre, a theatrette really, had been created for the kids undergoing therapy in Rabka. In the bone tuberculosis ward, the attendants would arrange the beds and lay the children in the plaster corsets on them.

What kind of dolls played in those performances?
In the early years, they were marionettes—a very difficult technique. We’d built constructions to screen the actors from view. These days, the technique is no longer camouflaged from the viewer. We hid all that from those kids. They just saw the moving puppet.

Had you already started designing posters then?
When I started working for the theatre in 1953, the posters were being printed in Nowy Targ. The same typeface was used for election posters and for theatre posters. I believed the latter needed to stand out in some way.

Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908–1998)

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

If you are in Pittsburgh, don’t miss the amazing Teenie Harris, Photographer: An American Story at Carnegie Museum of Art, October 29, 2011, through April 7, 2012. If you don’t make it, go here.

Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908–1998) photographed Pittsburgh’s African American community from c. 1935 to c. 1975. His archive of nearly 80,000 images is one of the most detailed and intimate records of the black urban experience known today.

Sgrafo vs Fat Lava

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Check out this school of taste. It’s a great collection by French curator Nicolas Trembley who back in the good gold days of VHS founded, together with Stéphanie Moisdon, the Bureau des vidéos à Paris. “Sgrafo vs Fat Lava” tells you how taste changes and how something that you hate(d) can become beautiful—well, almost. (A review.) Nicolas Trembley also runs the blog for the Syz Collection, which makes a private collection public through visual associations, real information, and some deadpan analogies.

Awesome Tapes from Africa

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Awesome Tapes from Africa