Talk to Me (Words Pumping Station), 2020
The project was prepared in cooperation with Stanisław Wyspiański Academy of Theatre Arts. The performers were students of the Department of Puppetry of the Wrocław Branch:
Urszula Gołdowska – Johanna von Keyserlingk / Narrator, Maciej Łabaz – George / Franz Karl Achard / Alchemist, Monika Reks – Tiresias / Narrator, Bartłomiej Zdeb – Parsifal / Zbigniew Cybulski
baroque cello – Jagoda Suchar
accordion – Jakub Gąsior
script: Mariusz Sibila
Sugar installation: Monika Konieczna, Mariusz Sibila
Cooking in the Grail performance: Monika Konieczna
costumes: Monika Konieczna
Footnotes film: Mariusz Sibila, Monika Konieczna
The performative fairy tale Talk to Me is a story about arable land in Lower Silesia. Shortly after chemist F.K. Achard created the world’s first factory extracting sugar from beetroot near Wrocław, Lower Silesia became one of the centres of sugar beet cultivation. When in the 1920s the land south of Wrocław began to dry up and the sugar content in sugar beet decreased, Count C. von Keyserlingk, manager of a sugar company in Klecina, invited Rudolf Steiner, an anthroposopher whose lectures lay foundations for biodynamic agriculture. Steiner spoke of the land as a spiritual being and a living organism that must be understood, not thoughtlessly used. Thus in 1924, on the day of Pentecost, a feast referring to the pagan rituals of Earth’s fertility, one of the first environmentally conscious agricultural initiatives in the world took place.
We are trying to look at the history of the fertile fields near Wrocław from the perspective of the legend of the Holy Grail and the myth of the wounded King and barren land. A knight in search of the Holy Grail is to heal the King and restore fertility to the soil. However, the myth must also be considered at the level of the wandering self – of being constantly conflicted with the “false motives” that drive us in life. We think about Truth not only in the context of the words coming out of the mouth, but we also seek the truth about us and our attitude to agricultural land and Earth – our planet.
photo: Małgorzata Kujda