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Interview with Massimo Furlan


Maker of Blue Tired Heroes

Can you introduce yourself?

I was born from Italian parents in Lausanne. After having followed a training at the Beaux-Arts School of Lausanne I first worked as a visual artist and stage designer. With theatre and performance, I mainly try to tell stories: how to tell stories? With my company, I explore this simple idea through the exploration of themes of the memory and the forgetting. I also question the place of the legitimacy of the stage itself: where can we perform? This leads to work with public space and non professional performers.

Do you notice a difference in audience between different countries and/or cities?

Yes of course. But the main differences between audiences come from the context where the show is presented: a festival, unformal spaces, contemporary arts centre or public theatres etc. It’s difficult to make categories between countries, as my work is sometimes difficult to categorize. I have always been interested, through my performances since the early beginning, to touch audience that would not go inside a theatre (my performance N°10 in a football stadium) and slightly change their view of contemporary art.

What is your opinion on the social relevance of theatre?

I believe theatre finds its relevance in having the strong capacity to pass on stories and history in a larger sense. Because these “built” stories come from everyone’s stories and it’s through this act of re-enactment that theatre builds a common memory: and a society without memory is a society bound to die.

If you hadn’t become an artist, what would have been your profession?

To direct a little lawn mower replacement supply firm located in a place without lawn.

The supermen in your project aren’t heroic at all. They are very human and characteristic. What has made you come to this decision?

I like to work with “normal”/random bodies, bodies that have not been trained to appear on stage or to perform. Everyday life bodies that tell stories by themselves and when I dress old people in superheroes costumes for instance, I provoke an identification among the audience that lead to the question: what have we become? And what will we become?

Why have you chosen to let the supermen perform in a public space?

Urban public space is interesting because it’s everyday life space that transforms/changes into a performance space by the simple fact to inject a little “off-side” element, something that slightly challenges the perception. Through this work I wanted to question “the time that befalls” … what has been expected from ourselves through life, what we have achieved or not achieved.


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