Witkacy & Malinowski: a cinematic séance in 23 scenes

The conflict between materialist and metaphysical thinking is personified in the argument between two friends. Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewcz (commonly known as Witkacy), ‘the most universal artistic figure in Poland in the first half of the 20th century’, and Bronisław Malinowski known as the father of contemporary anthropology severed their friendship in Australia at the outbreak of the First World War.

Using historical reconstruction, and words from their writings, including scenes from Witkacy’s play ‘Crazy Locomotive’, Director John Gillies creates the conflict between the close friends in the context of political events and philosophical thought.

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Director: John Gillies
Director Biography

‘John Gillies is one of Australia’s most significant practitioners in the field of video art whose work has been dedicated to illuminating the formal languages and histories of the medium. Gillies is noted for his exploration of appropriation and montage, and his integration of sound and performance practices within the medium of video. Works that illustrate the artist’s skilled use of these elements include Hymn (1983), Techno/Dumb/Show (1991) and My Sister’s Room (2000).’ programme note ‘Figuring Landscapes’, Tate Modern, 2009

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