This new commission by artist Paulina Olowska combines visual arts, theatre and performance and is the latest in Tate Modern’s ongoing performance series BMW Tate Live.
Decorated with wallpaper and hand-painted murals by Olowska and artist Sławek Lipiński, and furnished with wardrobes, tables and chairs, a semblance of domestic space is conjured within Tate Modern’s Poetry & Dream display. These furnishings will sit alongside paintings by artists such as Henri Matisse, Dora Carrington, Pablo Picasso and André Derain.
Based on The Mother An Unsavoury Play in Two Acts and an Epilogue by avant-garde Polish artist and playwright Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Olowska’s performance will portray the dysfunctional relationship between Janina Eely, a matron, and Leon Eely, her good-looking son. Two professional actors - David Gant and Valerie Cutko - will play the role of the mother and the son, while Olowska’s friends and collaborators take on characters including the maid, the prostitute, the aristocratic party boy and the suspicious individual. The story takes place in a bourgeois setting in which hallucinations, schizophrenia, alcoholism, madness and drug addiction turn into surrealist mayhem.