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Magda Tuka
Magda Tuka
photo ©dusand

Though my practice is firmly rooted in Jerzy Grotowski's notion of Art as vehicle, my ongoing output is by definition more akin with his Theatre of Productions period. I began my career working for ten years full time as an actor in the Warsaw-based Studium Teatralne company of Piotr Borowski, a long-term associate of Grotowski during his late Pontedera phase. For me, the essence of this formative work was in its physical training. A rigorous investigation into the relationship between the body and space, between precision, improvisation and intuition; the aim, a creative onstage existence, a continual search, on a moment by moment basis, for what and where the performer's attention is.

In a break from this tradition, I undertook what became a series of collaborations over several years as a performer with Bojan Jablanovec's Via Negativa theatre company in Ljubljana. In my opinion, the importance of the VN approach is its focus on communicating to the audience via an "essential" creative message devised from the personal experience of the performers.

On these foundations, I began initiating projects. In 2012, with an intuitive trust in the creativity of opposites, I incorporated the organisation Ja Ja Ja Ne Ne Ne and devised a succession of shows with dancer Anita Wach, in collaboration with sound designer Opaean.

My process of creative thinking often starts from the vision of a character who represents a complex of ideas, problems, irresolvable circumstances.

I am interested in exploring situations where the body is thrown into heightened modes of operation determined by self-imposed conditions. Treated rather instrumentally. In service of ideas, meanings. Often naked, exposed, trapped in uncomfortable circumstances, but not humiliated.

And no religionism.

In June 2023, I was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy in Drama: Practice as Research. My thesis, Towards a Burning Method: How Might the Contemporary Performer Build on the Legacy of Grotowski's Total Act?, was supervised by Prof. Paul Allain and Dr Angeliki Varakis at the University of Kent in Canterbury (UK).

In February 2020, I instigated The Horsedonkey Club at London's legendary queer arts incubator vFd. An ongoing platform for hybrid live work with two seasons and several special editions organised to date, THC hosts artists from across fields who use performance and sound in their work.

My work has been variously supported through a succession of grants, scholarships, residencies, co-productions and festival selections, presented in theatre, gallery, cinema, church, and online; in Poland, UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, USA and Germany.

I have concurrently worked as a performing arts and devising teacher and workshop leader for over 20 years.

Photo ©Marcandrea Photo ©Paweł Wyszomirski Photo ©PatMic Photo ©Marcin Cecko Photo ©Kiali Photo ©Tomasz Ćwiertnia
Deus ex Running Machina ... she is constantly running ... for something, before something, away from something ... transforming into various unrelated characters ... creating a collage of torn-up narratives ... she is making her own commentary, an attempt at self-critique in the form of a Tragic Chorus ... performance by Tuka ... sound by Opaean ... creation funded by Ja Ja Ja Ne Ne Ne Association & Studium Teatralne, support-in-kind from Hamish Henry, ZU-UK, Chisenhale Dance Space, United Cowboys ... photos ©2018 PatMic ...

How the Hare is Dying

How the Hare is Dying

A performance by Tuka

In asking myself how the hare is dying, I open a space that is unknown or lost. The hare has rich mythology in many cultures. In ancient Egypt, its hieroglyph acted as the verb 'to be'. By trying to incorporate myself into this animal I hope, if only for a few moments, to make real contact with the audience. To be, together.
Sound: Opaean

[How the Hare is Dying] craftily and strongly engages the emotions of the viewer, not allowing indifferent contemplation. [It] talks about art and reality in a brutal way, responding to the violence of the world with artistic aggression.

Hanna Raszewska-Kursa taniecpolska.pl
Photos: Manuel Vason, Marta Ankiersztejn, Tamsin Drury, Maciek Rukasz
Polish review translation: Wiluś Latarnik
realtime anachronisms

Using Open Web tech­nologies for real­time communication, 1923.webcam re­employed dance poems from the culture of Weimar Berlin nackt­tanz to create six live vign­ettes one visitor at a time.

Final presentation 17.11.2018 Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana Supported by International Visegrad Fund (sk), Motus > Alfred ve dvoře (cz), Polish Ministry of Culture, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Studium Teatralne, Warsaw City Council (pl), and Horsedonkey
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