The word ANIMATUS, derived from Latin, means “animated, gifted with life”, and as we know, the foundation of puppetry lies in the assumption of animated matter. Professor Halina Waszkiel, searching for a new definition of a puppet, created a name that best describes contemporary puppet forms, ie: “ANIMANT – an absolutely arbitrary material or non-material object (e.g. shadow) subjected to animation by the artist-animator. (…)
An animant can be a human-like puppet, hand puppet, stick puppet, rod puppet, shadow marionette, shadow puppet, mask, any object, a piece of material, even a streak of light, but treated as a stage character, dialogue partner, carrier of ideas, aesthetic object, building a metaphor, something what the actor introduces to the stage and shows viewers as the third element of the performance. The essence of the theater is the meeting of the actor and the audience. The essence of the puppet theater is a meeting of three partners: an actor, a spectator and a puppet. And it does not matter if the actor is visible to the audience or hidden behind the screen – he is always there anyway.
The competition is to be an impulse to create contemporary animants, not only in theory, but most of all in practice. The idea behind the project is searching for the original forms of the art of puppetry, which may use more and more new technological means, including virtual reality and 3D printing.