In autumn 2006 the grandfather of Wojtek Ziemilski, a previously respected citizen of Wroclaw, was exposed as a former member of the communist secret service. Ziemilski decided to process the bitterness of this shock artistically. His lecture performance combines personal history, historical facts and contemporary choreography – an attempt to juxtapose his self-chosen artistic decisions with history, on which he had no influence.
In the works of the 41-year-old Polish artist Wojtek Ziemilski, a graduate of the Gulbenkian Foundation’s theatre directing course in Lisbon, the boundaries between theatre, visual art (video art and photography) and choreography are blurred. Since 2008, Poland has been celebrating the return as “the hot new name of Warsaw theater” (Izabela Wierzbicka, Gazeta Wyborcza) and as “the rising star of Polish culture” (Slawomir Sierakowski, Duzy Format). Ziemilski is interested in contemporary approaches to theatre creation. He conceives techniques that integrate the so-called “non-danse” into conventional drama and are strongly oriented towards facts. He was one of the first Polish artists to develop rule-based performances. Ziemilski is also active as a photographer and video artist as well as author of the blog new-art.blogspot.com.
Wojtek Ziemilski studied philosophy in Warsaw, Toulouse and Grenoble and then directed in Lisbon. After initially making a name for himself with performative installations, today he is mainly involved with documentary theatre forms. In 2017 he won first prize at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden with his play “Jeden Gest” (A gesture) at the Fast Forward – European Festival for Young Directors.