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Massimo Furlanartist sheet 14/78

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He started out as a visual artist, then became a performance artist and director. His projects are inspired by his childhood and adolescence and his experience as an Italian émigré who grew up in French-speaking Switzerland. Football, rock, motorbikes and cinema are revisited in his “long images” and performances which defy physical and temporal limits.

PerformanceProcess Basel 2017-2018
sat 30 Sep 2017
1
18h
Blue Tired Heroes (2017)Kaserne Basel

This project is based on the «(love story) Superman» performance, created in Lausanne in April 2005 and further developed in Paris in September 2005 under the title «Superman Cosmic Green». The aim of this project was to experiment with the embodiment of the heroic character of Superman using on an extremely simple costume, available to the children we used to be: a blue “pyjama”, red underpants, red socks, and a red cape. We further worked with the typical postures of the hero: crossed arms, hands on the thighs, flying positions, etc.

One of the characteristics and interests of this project is that those who embodied the hero were simple individuals (small, tall, skinny, fat) with nothing heroic. Furthermore several performers simultaneously faced the public, in identical costumes. The project was simultaneously extremely burlesque and profoundly humane. With «Old Station Heroes» we wanted to further pursue this research, with the embodiment of a single character by an important number of performers, old aged, and in a public space.

PerformanceProcess Paris, Centre Culturel Suisse 18.09-13.12.15
tue 29 Sep 2015
1
18h
Après la fin - Le Congrès (création)Centre culturel suisser+33 1 42 71 44 50

Presented in the Focus Massimo Furlan

On six evenings, six different thinkers walk around and discuss themes relating to the relationship between Man, his environment, and the people who live in it. This show forms a kind of preamble to the long Nuit Blanche on 3 October… however it is neither a rehearsal nor a preview, it is a performance in its own right.

wed 30 Sep 2015
1
18h
Après la fin - Le Congrès (création)Centre culturel suisser+33 1 42 71 44 50
sat 03 Oct 2015
1
19h
Après la fin - Le Congrès (nuit blanche)Musée Nissim de Camondo+33 1 53 89 06 50

Présenté dans le cadre du Focus Massimo Furlan

An old-fashioned merry-go-round stands in the rectangular courtyard of the museum. This familiar object is like a ready-made recontextualised in a major cultural venue. It is also a device: a thinking machine that sets words, phrases and ideas turning. Several thinkers, wearing checked suits and skull masks, get on the merry-go-round and talk as the evening goes on. They state concepts and tell stories about the world of art and the end of the world.

Exhibitions

He started out as a visual artist, then became a performance artist and director. His projects are inspired by his childhood and adolescence and his experience as an Italian émigré who grew up in French-speaking Switzerland. Football, rock, motorbikes and cinema are revisited in his “long images” and performances which defy physical and temporal limits.

60 years of performance art in Switzerland museum Tinguely, 20.09.2017 - 28.01.2018

Furlan Morges (2014, video, 11'42'')

Colour video, sound, 11'42''

Furlan Morges is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Fellini's Roma (1972). Furlan replaces Fellini's gang of bikers, crossing the eternal city, with his childhood friends, who roll through his home city of Morges on mopeds.

Tunnel (2015, vidéo, 43'43'')

Colour video, sound, 43'43''

Tunnel alludes to the Furlan family's travels between Switzerland and Italy. The artist runs the 6 km of the Great St. Bernard Tunnel and thus makes a personal experience out of this route, which signifies connection and separation simultaneously.

Numéro 10 / Plays (2006 and 2017, vidéo, 74'02'')

Colour video, sound, 74'02''

Numéro 10 is one of the craziest projects by Massimo Furlan: all by himself he replays a famous soccer match that he experienced as an adolescent - in a real stadium, in front of a crowd, and accompanied by a reporter from that era. Here he plays Michel Platini in the semi-final between France and Germany during the 1982 World Cup in Seville.

PerformanceProcess Paris, Centre culturel suisse 18.09-13.12.2015

Foot (2002–2007, PHOTOGRAPHS)

Foot is documented by photographs from a series of performances on football and memory, and by Numéro 10, a performance in which he plays, alone, the part of Michel Platini in the famous 1982 world cup semi-final in Seville between France and Germany.

Superman (2005–2006, PHOTOGRAPHS)

The Superman photographs come from a series of performances on the figure of the superhero.

International Airport (2002, video, 36'20'')

International Airport consists of two videos made of a performance where he ran the entire length of the runway at Geneva airport at night, dreaming of taking flight.

extraball

symposium

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biography

Born in 1965, lives in Lausanne.
Massimo Furlan began as a visual artist. He then created performance pieces, and later staged major plays, on which he regularly works with Claire de Ribaupierre. The common thread linking his projects is his own biography. The story of a child of Italian parents, born in Switzerland. The story of a teenager who was not like the others. Memories of a generation born in the mid 1960s. The projects are based on images that spark memories: the photograph of a singer in his sister’s bedroom (Je rêve/je tombe and Live me/Love me); times when, as a child, he would play football alone in his bedroom while listening to matches on the radio (Furlan/Numero 23 and Numéro 10); or when he was in his pyjamas with a scarf around his neck, imagining that he was a superhero ((love story) Superman). Everything starts with an anecdote, then becomes a story: a fictional construction.

bibliography

interview

images

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Massimo Furlan, Furlan/Morges (2002) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Massimo Furlan, Furlan/Morges (2002) © Pierre Nydegger

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Massimo Furlan, Furlan/Morges (2002)

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Massimo Furlan, Furlan/Morges (2002)

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Massimo Furlan, Numéro 10 (2002)

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Massimo Furlan, International Airport (turn), (2002)

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Massimo Furlan, International Airport (turn), (2003)

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Massimo Furlan, International Airport (turn), (2004)

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Massimo Furlan, Foot (2002–2007) © Marc Domage / CCS

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Massimo Furlan, Superman (2005–2006) © Marc Domage / CCS

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Massimo Furlan, Tunnel (2015) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Massimo Furlan, Tunnel (2015)

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Massimo Furlan, Tunnel (2015)

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Massimo Furlan, Tunnel (2015)

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Massimo Furlan/Numero23prod., Après la fin – Le Congrès (création, 1h30) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Massimo Furlan/Numero23prod., Après la fin – Le Congrès (création, 1h30) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Massimo Furlan/Numero23prod., Après la fin – Le Congrès (création, 1h30) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Massimo Furlan/Numero23prod., Après la fin – Le Congrès (création, 1h30) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Massimo Furlan/Numero23prod., Après la fin – Le Congrès (création, 1h30) © Simon Letellier / CCS

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Massimo Furlan/Numero23prod., Après la fin – Le Congrès, Nuit blanche, Musée Nissim de Camondo © Simon Letellier / CCS, Paris

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Massimo Furlan/Numero23prod., Après la fin – Le Congrès, Nuit blanche, Musée Nissim de Camondo © Simon Letellier / CCS, Paris

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Massimo Furlan/Numero23prod., Après la fin – Le Congrès, Nuit blanche, Musée Nissim de Camondo © Simon Letellier / CCS, Paris

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Massimo Furlan/Numero23prod., Après la fin – Le Congrès, Nuit blanche, Musée Nissim de Camondo © Simon Letellier / CCS, Paris

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Massimo Furlan/Numero23prod., Après la fin – Le Congrès, Nuit blanche, Musée Nissim de Camondo © Simon Letellier / CCS, Paris

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Massimo Furlan, View of the exhibition (2015) © Marine Peixoto

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Oliver Bussmann

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Simon Letellier

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Simon Letellier

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Simon Letellier

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Simon Letellier

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Simon Letellier

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Simon Letellier

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Simon Letellier

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Massimo Furlan - Blue Tired Heroes © Simon Letellier

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Massimo Furlan - Tunnel © Simon Letellier

vidéos

texts

Dreamlife of a performance artist

From his first long images to his solo run through the Grand-Saint-Bernard Tunnel, Massimo Furlan has produced a unique, dazzling body of work that is thought-provoking and fires the imagination. ...

From his first long images to his solo run through the Grand-Saint-Bernard Tunnel, Massimo Furlan has produced a unique, dazzling body of work that is thought-provoking and fires the imagination.

Massimo Furlan runs. He runs until he enters a trance. He runs until he creates a sense of wonder bordering on stupefaction. In a stadium, on an airport runway or in a tunnel, the artist creates dreamlike and highly original performances by running beyond reality. Beyond the limits. Beyond what is possible...

Replaying a legendary match alone, a minuscule footballer in the middle of a vast emerald green pitch; waving his arms as he gallops along to take off from Cointrin Airport, then disappearing into the mist en route for some yearned-for destination; stepping over a border that is usually crossed by car in the Grand-Saint-Bernard Tunnel: nothing stops this artist from Lausanne as he remembers and transcends the dreams he had as a child of Italian immigrants. A solitary child, he would listen to the matches broadcast on RadioUno, dribbling the ball like a god in his bedroom, and he used to love taking the Grand-Saint-Bernard tunnel on summer trips to Italy. Childhood is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for him. But what interests Massimo Furlan most of all is making his own recollections resonate with collective memory. He starts from the ordinary lives of each of us and reaches out to the extraordinary in all of us. He does not necessarily seek to be popular, but tries to give the audience the opportunity to be artists, just as he used to do in his bedroom as a child.

On stage, inspired by his muse, his wife Claire de Ribaupierre who is also a theatre director, he challenges the act of performance, revisits icons, tackles the question of failure, of finality, of the link between those who stay and those who leave, of the gap between the model and real life and the burlesque or frightening effect created when they confront each other.

Constructed within the framework of his company, Numéro23Prod, his shows are made up of long images. They usually force the audience to search for meaning and build its own narratives. This will not, however, be the case for Après la fin – Le Congrès, Massimo Furlan's show at the CCS, where words and meaning form the centre of a fantastic verbal game of ping-pong. Several thinkers, wearing identical checked suits and death's head masks, their voices altered, will start talking in turn. They will present ideas, concepts and narratives intended to grab the attention of the viewer. The performance will continue during the Nuit Blanche festival with a carrousel revolving until dawn.

Massimo Furlan runs, but he also rides: on a scooter, or on a train. In 2004, his train, rushing through the night and slicing it into baroque living tableaux, charmed audiences at the Nyon performing arts festival. There's something of the Federico Fellini in his performances. His taste for embodying dreamlike excesses, his humanity, his extreme sensitivity, his fondness for idiocy, the way he constantly challenges what is reasonable and of course his Italian origins, all help to create a sense of kinship with the famous film director. In 2013, Furlan made Furlan/ Morges, a remake of the final scene of Fellini's Roma (1972) where a horde of bikers crosses the city at night, lighting up buildings and monuments with their headlights and making an extraordinary sound with their engines. Massimo Furlan replays the scene with his childhood friends perched on scooters whizzing around Morges, the town where he grew up.

He trained as an artist, but his many cross-disciplinary creations make him impossible to classify. Wearing the fascinating loneliness of the long-distance runner like Superman's cape, he breathlessly explores the depths of his childhood and adolescence. Through his performance pieces and shows, the audience experiences a sense of wonder combined with a certain innocence that lends itself to the discovery of new territories of otherness.

Corinne Jaquiéry, a freelance arts journalist, writing in particular for the daily newspapers Le Courrier and 24Heures and for Emoi.

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