STAGE design

Unfun staged by Vienna's Garage X theatre

... for this week's edition of the magazine, I talked to Norwegian author and visual artist Mattias Faldbakken when he was in Vienna. Let me be frank with you: I was a little nervous prior to my meeting with Mr Faldbakken, I mean, after all there's the decidedly hardcore-trash-violent-porn nature of his literary output to consider. And his art seems to be driven by some kind of destructive impulse, too. And then there's that quotation of his that keeps on popping up on the Internet: "Negativity is the motor of my work." Well...

Matias Faldbakken photographed by Simon Skreddernes -
posing as the tough guy with a complicated allure that he is definitely NOT

But then things turned out to be completely different from what I might have expected and Mr Faldbakken revealed himself to be a man of the sweetest kind, very attractive too but not at all in a dirty way, and he was as patient and understanding as he was entertaining and poignant. Everyone familiar with German can read my article on the website of Die Presse. What I found most remarkable (and interesting, too, because does one ever hear about those things?): When I asked him what he made of his novels being turned into plays, he told me that the passage from the written to the spoken word more often than not destroyed a well conceived balance of stupidities which he considers to be characteristic of his writing, frequently making him feel "ashamed and embarrassed" when sitting in the audience. Same goes for stage design and costume, he told me - and even though he claimed to have liked the stageing of his novel UNFUN in Vienna, he told me that the stage design was maybe a wee bit over the top - see for yourself, is all I can say ...

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