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Maria Metsalu's new performance 'Kultuur' attracts and repels

Maria Metsalu.
Maria Metsalu. Source: Alana Proosa

The new production "Kultuur" (English: "Culture") by the Estonian performance artist Maria Metsalu had its premiere in Munich and can be seen in Tallinn, Copenhagen and Helsinki. The performance is divided into three movements, she said: "the parade at the hot dog cart, the concert of the flower and the final consumption of the sun."

Maria Metsalu's performance "Kultuur" contemplates the sun, she said in the description of the work. It is an experience, which is "something between a piano concert and a finger-painted surface." It accommodates chaos and rejects it.

During the performance, Metsalu presents herself as an object of spectacle, much like the early feminist conceptual performance artists of the 60s and 70s, but with Georges Bataille's flavor for abject surrealism. She said that the repulsion produced during the performance denies its spectacle nature.

"Kultuur" is co-produced by Maria Metsalu, Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Spielart  Festival, Spielart Copenhagen and Kiasma Theater.

Besides Metsalu, Artjom Astrov is responsible for the sound of the production, with dramaturgical support from Jaakko Pallasvuo and stenography from Nikola Knezevic. The production premiered in Germany, has a three-day run in Tallinn between February 8–11, and will be seen in Copenhagen and Helsinki.

Maria Metsalu explores contemporary issues through the medium of her body, typically using sexually charged expressions. She sees performance as a revolutionary arena and deviance as a way to produce new perspectives. In addition to her solo work, she is a founding member of the Young Boy dance group.

Maria Metsalu's "Kultuur" in München. Source: Tobias Zangl

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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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