PLANET LEM

We keep this civilization narcotized, for otherwise it could not endure itself. That is why its
sleep must not be disturbed ... We hold in precarious balance that which without us would plunge into the throes of universal agony. We are the last Atlas of this world.

Stanisław Lem, The Futurological Congress


Planet Lem is Teatr Biuro Podróży’s new outdoor performance.
The performance is inspired by Stanisław Lem’s fiction, his unique, witty and poignant diagnosis of the contemporary world, and reflection on the relations between technological progress and limitations of the human race.

The characters featuring in the performance are familiar to readers of Lem’s novels and short stores: Ijon Tichy, Professor Tarantoga, humans, supercomputers, robots. The performance presents a story which was never written by Stanisław Lem; it is the theatre’s impression based on Lem’s writings. It shows the world in the future, where an illusory state of well-being ensured to the human race by the artificial intelligence makes people degenerate, idle, passive. It is a world peopled with humanoids for whom the meaning of life amounts to a dose of hallucinogenic substance. They live in an illusion of welfare and peace under the benign surveillance of their caretakers. What will happen during Ijon Tichy’s time travel and his meeting with the humans of the future? Can Tichy destroy their false idyll in the name of truth and awareness? How will the intervention of a man from the past end?

The production is an hour-long outdoor theatre performance. It uses spectacular moving sets, lighting effects and multimedia projections. Specially composed music combines symphonic and post-industrial sounds


Paweł Szkotak: “Lem’s acumen lies not only in his ability to foresee future inventions but in his depiction of how new technologies will affect and change man. Our humanoid descendent will not only look different; also changed will be his family and social interactions. Technological acceleration enables us to create and satisfy needs while at the same time introduces virtually unlimited possibilities for control and manipulation.
The longing for the sacred, a fantastic decorum, and dreams of a better world make science fiction today one of the reservoirs for romantic thinking in the general sense. Planet Lem is a future land which has become a false paradise; a kind of dystopia. It is inhabited by Mucillids –  humans of the future. Ijon Tchy, our contemporary, sets out to meet them thanks to time travel technology. What will their confrontation bring? Where does the borderline between imposing one’s own vision of truth and intending to offer aid lie?”  

Planet Lem is produced by Teatr Biuro Podróży and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the cultural programme of Poland’s Presidency of the European Union 2011. The production was presented in Brussels, Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, Moscow, Kiev, Minsk in co-operation with Polish Institutes and Embassies of Poland as well as local partners.

 

Director: Paweł Szkotak
Written by Teatr Biuro Podróży, based on fiction by Stanisław Lem
Designer: Agnieszka Zawadowska

Lighting: Magdalena Górfińska

Actors: Bartosz Borowski, Agata Elsner/Justyna Paluszyńska, Mateusz Felsmann/ Adam Mikołajczak, Miron Jagniewski, Adam Swarcewicz, Łukasz Kowalski, Jarosław Siejkowski, Marta Strzałko, Piotr Wojtyniak, Tomasz Wrzalik

Produced by Teatr Biuro Podróży, Adam Mickiewicz Institute

The Adam Mickiewicz Institute is a national institution of culture responsible for international promotion of Polish culture and active participation in international cultural exchange. In 2001-2010, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute implemented promotion projects in 26 countries including the United Kingdom, Russia, Israel, the Benelux, Spain, Austria, Sweden, France, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Algeria, Morocco, India, China. IAM’s projects have presented more than 3,000 cultural events to an audience of 18 million on three continents.

www.iam.pl, www.culture.pl