Michikazu Matsune has been working on his new performance What The Hell, which will premiere at this year’s Sommerszene Festival in Salzburg. It is a project developed with SEAD-students and will be presented in the public spaces of Salzburg.
Can you tell us about your project What The Hell?
"It is a performance, or a series of performances, that takes place on streets and squares in the city centre of Salzburg. We started the project by developing simple movements, gestures and situations - for instance, a group of performers rolling down on a street, or performers whispering bad news into the ears of strangers. Some actions catch immediate attention of people passing, other actions are hardly recognizable for the majority of peolpe and leave the particular witnesses bewildered."
What are the challenges of working in public space?
"There are so many elements we cannot control in the public space. We should react to what is evident and what is happening around us. With this project, I think that we are able to implant some kind of performative virus into the city. Our performances are seen in relation to what is surrounding us. They resonate with everything around us. Once you witness our performance, it gives you an illusion that everybody in the city is part of an absurd performance. Maybe, however, it is not an illusion, but we are actually part of some kind of performance without even being aware of it."
Your work touches sensitive issues and problems in our society. What is your focus in this project?
"Our performances take place in the city centre of Salzburg, which is a highly commercial and touristic area. The image of the city is kept clean and very much controlled. Problems are hidden or put aside. For this project we also collected trash - a broken chair or an old tyre etc - on the outskirts of Salzburg and brought it into the city centre to perform with them. The performers slowly dance or sing with these objects. I see this as an abstract reflection on problems we tend to hide in our society."