Tomek Tyndyk, Hatching
Curators: Krzysztof Kowalczyk, Katarzyna Sagatowska
‘Who are you? What do you hope for? What is most important to you?’ Krzysztof Kieślowski asked his protagonists in Talking Heads. Although the questions seem straightforward enough, fundamental even, the director himself admitted that, like some of his subjects, he had trouble answering them. Each question prompts another, pertaining to the who and the what, the when and the where. Is existence a stable or fluid state? How similar is the ‘I’ from yesterday to the ‘I’ of today or tomorrow? From the moment of birth, we experience ceaseless change. Internally and externally. At what moment do we understand, all at once and without a doubt, who we truly are?
The same processes unfold within the theatrical realm as in reality, only here they progress at an accelerated rate. As much can transpire in a single month as in a year of reality. The transformations are more dynamic, and the becomings can be sudden and painful. There are confrontation and struggle. There is violence, and blood is spilt. Birth is not a one-off event, but a recurring one. The performance and characters hatch repeatedly, and each time different.
When constructing a role, the actor, quite naturally, draws upon his or her own life experience, but the exchange also flows in the opposite direction. The theatre becomes a personal laboratory in which the actor is not only an element of the experiment but its author. The actor begins to function in two modes at once, with a foot in both theatrical and personal life. The differences between the two spheres blur. As the actual blends with the invented, it becomes difficult to distinguish between onstage and offstage interactions. The character slips into the actor’s subconscious, absorbing some of his or her personality traits in the process.
In Tomek Tyndyk’s theatre work, there is one additional plane of experience: that of the photographic. The artist takes photographs during performances and rehearsals, in an attempt to create enough distance from himself to perceive his self differently. Although physically present with his fellow actors, he remains unaffected by their states and emotions. Photography also becomes a way for him to more intensely experience his offstage life. As the artist himself explained, in an interview with Anka Herbut, ‘The two-track operation of the photographic and the theatrical gives rise to a third quality, in which a domain for confronting one’s own fears or desires opens up, as does a process for probing deeper into oneself. It is a moment of great intimacy. I do not have a name for it’.
Tomek Tyndyk is a photographer and a film and theatre actor. He is a graduate of the drama department at the Film School in Łódź and a student at the Institute of Creative Photography at the University of Silesia in Opava, Czech Republic. He was a finalist in the second edition of the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute’s ‘Theatre Photography Competition’. His photographs have been published in many magazines, and have been presented in solo and group exhibitions, including at Prague Photo (2016) and, in 2017, at Bratislava Month of Photography, TR Warszawa, and the Miejsce przy Miejscu Gallery/BWA Contemporary Art Gallery in Wrocław. As an actor, he has been with the TR Warszawa theatre since 2005. He has performed in plays directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, Grzegorz Jarzyna, Krystian Lupa, Katarzyna Kalwat, and Krzysztof Garbaczewski. His film credits include roles in Robert Gliński’s Piggies (2009), Przemysław Wojcieszek’s Secret (2012), and Tomasz Wasilewski’s United States of Love (2016). He is represented by the JEDNOSTKA Gallery.
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