Maria Metsalu: Mademoiselle x

UUE - Estonian contemporary (performance) art festival

23.02.2018 - 24.02.2018

A performance about a woman who beliefs being simultaneously dead and immortal.

Fri, February 23 at 6pm
Sat, February 24 at 4pm

Price 15/12e
Festival pass
(incl. 2 performances and a screening) 25e (The festival pass is available until 21 Feb at 18:00)
Buy tickets

Duration 90min.
Not recommended for minor audiences.

“Air could not freeze her, fire could not burn her, water could not drown her, earth could not bury her.”

The performance operates in the realm of the figure of Mademoiselle x – a semi-fictional woman who, while being alive, is convinced that she is in fact dead. She believes she has no brain, no nerves, no chest, no stomach, no intestines, being nothing more than a decomposing body. Despite of this she also believes that she is eternal and would live forever.

In this realm, everything could be possible and allowed, all is of a part of her and originates from her, forming a complex but uncomplicated system. Complex systems are uncertain. It’s unfeasible to predict how they will exactly react regardless of whether or not we understand the nature of their individual parts.

Mademoiselle x steals elements from lo-fi haunted attractions that simulate the experience of entering haunted locations. Through the narrative of Mademoiselle x who lingers “in between” as living un-dead, a zombified body, the state of the performer and repetitive performing of the same shows with same material with the same motivation over again is put under observation.

The artist evidently uses known tricks or effects that can be often read as “too much” without wanting to create any peak moments but instead with the help of strategical repetition to play with the idea of an “anticlimactic show” that slowly runs its course.

This show doesn’t want to show itself, it wants to hide inside an imitation. It’ll fight if it has to, but it’s vulnerable out in the open. If it takes us over, then it has no more enemies, nobody left to kill it. And then it’s won.


Maria Metsalu (1990) is an Estonian performer and artist, who finished SNDO (School for New Dance Development) in Amsterdam in 2016. Her former practice as a solo artist has mutated into a form of collective practice, often facilitating other artist in her work, directly or implied and synthesising it with her own work. She has an ongoing interest in the production of her own persona, self-mythologisation of it and her own autopoiesis.

Exploring physical and virtual realities, bringing them together, understanding the differences of those two in terms of interaction, social exchange and transformation are important aspects of her research process. She aims to articulate relations between visual culture, identity, appropriation, telepresence and voyeurism using self referential relationships with corporate technologies. She is creating visual performative works that regardless of the chosen medium places her own body in the epicentre. Besides her solo work she is one of the founding members of international performance collective Young boy dancing group.

Concept and performance: Maria Metsalu
Stage: Nikola Knežević, carpet together with Merike Estna
Sound: Rodrigo Sobarzo de Larraechea
Drawings: Annina Machaz
Technical solutions: SPARK Makerlab Co-Producer: Kanuti Gildi SAAL
Supported by Eesti Kultuurkapital
Residency: Workspacebrussels
Thanks to: Enrique Arce Gutierrez, Maria Arusoo