Wojtek Ziemilski: “Pygmalion”

director: Wojtek Ziemilski
set designer, assistant director, video: Wojtek Pustoła
cast: Rozalia Mierzicka
lights: Karolina Gębska
dramaturg/curator: Tomasz Plata
consultant: Sebastian Świąder
production coordinator: Izabela Żerek
producer: Centrum Kultury w Poznaniu
coproducer: Komuna// Warszawa
special thanks to: Joanna Klass, Grzegorz Laszuk, Sean Palmer, Marysia Stokłosa, Małgorzata Wdowik, Anna Wojnarowska

Premiere: 25.10.2014 (Poznań), 7.11.2014 (Warsaw)

A tear jerker about a working-class girl raised by a high-minded profesor to the level of a true bourgeoi? Nothing of the sort. „Pygmalion” holds a more important and interesting message. It is a story of the conditioning we all have to go through to be able to participate in culture.
Of the skills we have to acquire to deserve respect. Wojtek Ziemilski takes from Shaw’s “Pygmalion” the main trope and subverts it, building a performative event around it. It is not quite theatre, more of an attempt to bring the viewer into the situation of a meeting when we pass on not so much knowledge as emotional experience. The director explains: “It is an exercise in extreme empathy. We feel ourselves into someone else’s skin. Not the person but their way of functioning in the world, moving among others, building relationships.” Ziemilski’s “Pygmalion” is part of the series “We, The Bourgeois”. No wonder then that traces of Bildung can be detected here, as it is a concept absolutely central to the bourgeois idea of education as initiation into culture.

review in “Dwutygodnik”: http://www.dwutygodnik.com/artykul/5558-a-e-i-o-u-y.html


We, the Bourgeois cycle

We are all bourgeois. Well, almost all. It looks like Poland has finally developed a strong middle class. Furthermore, the middle class has become dominant. But it continues to be ignored by sociologists and artists. We do not have many texts to describe the experience of the Polish middle class, we do not have films, performances, exhibitions.

The adjective “bourgeois“ (or “middle-class”) is automatically taken to be pejorative and the new middle class live without awareness of the roots of the bourgeoisie, the values around which these categories were once established. With the “We, the Bourgeois” project, we will try to at least partly rectify the situation.

Curator of the cycle: Tomasz Plata

Project co-financed by the City of Poznań Office, City Hall of the Capital City of Warsaw and from the funds of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

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