[MANIFESTO OF UKRAINIAN AVANT-GARDE ACTOR] Mystetstvo diistva [i.e. Art of Performance]. M. Tereshchenko.
[MANIFESTO OF UKRAINIAN AVANT-GARDE ACTOR] Mystetstvo diistva [i.e. Art of Performance]

[MANIFESTO OF UKRAINIAN AVANT-GARDE ACTOR] Mystetstvo diistva [i.e. Art of Performance]

Kiev: Derzhavne vydavnytstvo, 1921. Item #1238

16 pp. 18x13,5 cm. In original wrappers with unknown avant-garde design. Spine restored, new back cover, some stains on covers, otherwise very good.

First and only edition. One of 1000 copies.
A unique manifesto for the freedom of avant-garde theatre actors was proclaimed by Mark Tereshchenko (1893-1982), Ukrainian theater and film director, film and theater theorist, pedagogue. He graduated from military paramedic school, worked in a hospital. At the same time, he studied at the Music and Drama School called after M. Lysenko. In 1916 he met Les Kurbas and soon made his debut in ‘Young Theater’ as an actor. During 1916-1919 Tereshchenko actively collaborated with the ‘Young Theater’, played many notable roles and became close friends with Kurbas. Later their paths diverged because of different views on how an actor should participate in the theatrical production. Tereshchenko advocated “collective theater” and stood against the dictatorship of a director, while Kurbas insisted on the main role of the director’s vision. This initially personal discussion had turned to the pages of the press and other printed editions.
This particular brochure is the great evidence of their debates. On the title page, Tereshchenko was introduced as “a representative of a collective of actors named after Mikhailychenko”. In 1920, he formed his own troupe, the Drama Group of the All-Ukrainian Central Studio called after Gnat Mikhailychenko that became a notable phenomenon in the cultural and artistic life of Kiev. Experimental classes in the studio were conducted by composer Anatolii Butsky, poet Pavlo Tychyna, actor Vladimir Sladkopevtsev and others. Such avant-garde artists as Vadym Meller and Anatol Petrytsky created stage and costume designs. Tereshchenko headed the theater in 1921-1925 where he staged futuristic mass spectacles and organized street mass actions.
In parallel with A. Gastev’s idea of a worker as not an implementer but a director of a machine tool, Tereshchenko declared that a theatrical actor deserved to be a free creator. “An actor of the new proletarian theater must liberate him-/herself from the oppression of the director… in order to become an organizer of their own art… An artist will experience any action sincerely and will never speak false”.
According to Tereshchenko’s method of collective creation, performers freely interpreted the individual components of the proposed rhythmical scheme; a director-constructor built the entire composition from these individual pieces. The approach was realized in stagings ‘Heaven on Fire’, ‘Carnival’, ‘The Universal Necropolis’ performed by the Central Studio. (Modernism in Kyiv. 2010)
After this brochure, Tereshchenko published some related articles, but the texts of his artistic declarations were actually removed from the history of the Ukrainian theater. Having adopted the official Soviet art as a creative credo, Tereshchenko tried to make his avant-garde statements be forgotten and was engaged in movie production. During World War II, the director lived in the occupied territory, thus he was ostracized from official orders.
In all, it is a valuable piece of Ukrainian avant-garde in general and a milestone in the establishment of proletarian theatre.

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