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Two-Headed Calf

13 December 2018
  Małopolska Garden of Arts

Directed by:

Natalia Korczakowska


Stanisław I. Witkiewicz


105 min.


65 / 40

“(…) The experience of endless and wild California nature is close to the experience of the tropical journey that Witkacy made with Bronisław Malinowski before writing his play. The plot unfolds a journey of a neurotic boy and his family from New Guinea through Sydney to the desert, which, read in the vicinity of the California Death Valley becomes something real, at your fingertips. Witkacy, raised in the Tatra Mountains, believed that nature could be a source of metaphysical experience that gives a contemporary man a chance to protect his individuality from the soulless social machine of Western civilisation.

Patricianello’s journey is also a journey into the depths of oneself. The intense colours of tropical flowers, a dead, black abyss of a night in the desert and the heat of the red sun rising above it are the manifestations of this journey. Aldous Huxley in his iconic text ‘Doors of Perception’ describes the mind-opening experience after taking mescaline (extract from desert cacti). Under mescaline’s influence Huxley understood how limited and vulnerable is the so-called ‘civilized’ man who is actually subservient to the rational, who looks only ahead and who is deprived of the metaphysical dimension.

Such a man becomes an automaton, a mode in a system. In confrontation with what is inexplicable, starting with his own existence, he is doomed to depression and defeat. Indifference is his illness. It is the Kala-Azar plague from Witkacy’s play that destroys Western civilisation.”

/ Natalia Korczakowska

Co-produced by Studio Theatre Gallery and CalArts and financed from the funds of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland, within the scope of the Multiannual Program INDEPENDENT 2017–2021, as part of the “Cultural Bridges” subsidy program of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.


Adaptation and Direction: Natalia Korczakowska

Author: Stanisław I. Witkiewicz

Sets: Salmah Beydoun

Costumes: Marek Adamski

Music: Chris Kallmyer

Lights: Bartosz Nalazek

Video: Kam Ying Lee, Shay Willard 

Video’s dramaturgy: Janie Geiser


Ewa Błaszczyk, Priscilla Chung, Symone Holmes, Everett Keeter, Chance Lang, Bartosz Porczyk, Robert Wasiewicz, Terrence Wilburn, Krzysztof Zarzecki