Kantor’s encounters with a rhinoceros: ‘Costumology’ between material and metaphor

Twitchin, Mischa. 2023. Kantor’s encounters with a rhinoceros: ‘Costumology’ between material and metaphor. Studies in Costume & Performance, 8(1), pp. 11-34. ISSN 2052-4013 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Exploring the example of an exhibition of costumes at the Cricoteka – the archive of Tadeusz Kantor – this article addresses the question of costume in performance through reading with several of Kantor’s essays from 1961 to 1962; specifically, ‘My scenic ideas’, ‘Encounter with Dürer’s Rhinoceros’ and his homage to ‘Maria Jarema’. Taking up Kantor’s suggestions concerning a ‘costumology’, in the light of his concept of an ‘inside out space’, the discussion focuses on the dynamics of metaphor and materiality in costume through reflection on what is specific to Kantor’s understanding of theatre making ‘on the plane of art’. His avant-gard- ist insistence on the artistic transformation of reality offers a critique of claims concerning naturalism in theatre and engages with what has since been widely recognized as ‘post-dramatic’ practice in the work of Kantor’s Cricot 2 theatre.

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© [Mischa Twitchin, 2023]. The definitive, peer reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Studies in Costume & Performance, Volume 8, Issue 1, 2023, p. 11 - 34, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/scp_00083_1 .


Kantor, costumology, Jarema, rhinoceros, Cricoteka, exhibition, Cricot 2, emballage

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


23 February 2023Accepted
30 June 2023Published Online
May 2023Published

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Date Deposited:

03 Jul 2023 08:51

Last Modified:

03 Jul 2023 10:31

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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