The Quay Brothers for Has

In October 2009, within the Polska! Year at the London Barbican, there was a retrospective of films by Wojciech Jerzy Has, accompanied by an installation prepared specifically for this occasion by the Brothers Quay, great fans of Has, are currently preparing a remake of his The Hour-Glass Sanatorium (Sanatorium pod klepsydra). In Wrocław, the artistic installation will join expositions at the Awangarda Gallery of Contemporary Art, devoted to films by this visionary of the Polish cinema and the festival’s director in focus himself. The work by the Quays was directly inspired by a photographic portrait of Has surrounded by attributes of his film visions. Like Faust struggling with matter and spirit, like an alchemic leaning over the work of his life in a secret cabinet, the director considers another astonishing strategy. The Brothers Quay made a three-dimensional, multimedia film poster encouraging viewers to take part in screening with use of the said photo and fragments of Has’s films presented on a screen right behind his back. The artistic installation refers to the characteristic style of the Polish master of surrealism, drawing from painting and literature, very careful about the scenography in the film, creating his own, unique worlds on screen.  

Agnieszka Szeffel


The Quay Brothers

Twins, born in 1947. They studied in Philadelphia and continued their education at the Royal College of Art in London, where in the 1970s they directed their first short films. In the 1980s, they made commercials (for Honeywell, Walkers Crisps, and Dulux Wood Protection), music videos (the most famous one - for Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer), and animations which made them popular – The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer, Street of Crocodiles. In 1995, their first feature film premiered: Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream That One Calls Human Life, winner of the Bronze Horse in Stockholm and the jury’s award at the Fantasporto festival. Another full-length live acting film by the brothers is The PianoTuner of EarthQuakes. Their art is inspired by literature, especially by prose by Bruno Schulz and lately -Stanisław Lem.

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