Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and the Farewell Speech- Curatorial Statement
December 07, 2011
By Sherrie Johnson
Senior Curator, PuSh Festival
This 70-minute show, which is in Japanese, with English titles, consists of three short parts created by Japan’s leading experimental theatre-maker Toshiki Okada.
Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and The Farewell Speech challenges our prejudices, provokes our imaginations and allows us a forum to contextualize our current state of being. Toshiki Okada’s chelfitsch theatre has captured a deeply personal and political worldview with this triptych.
With today’s struggling society as our backdrop: the world financial crisis, Occupy movements, the Arab spring, juxtaposed alongside a world of banal dialogue, spastic movement, and seemingly trivial and repetitive patterns of speech, Okada is making a profound and daring statement reflecting the disparity of the current generation through his art. The message one takes away is the absolute disillusionment and despair about what the future holds for his generation and the next.
The anxiety illustrated by this group of young performers as they contort, shake, and tremble starts to agitate and disturb to the point where you as an audience member begin to shudder at the thought of being a citizen in this “empty society”.
Is it possible we can be jolted out of this nightmare? That is the burning question underlying this captivating production. cheltfitsch masterfully strips away layers and through this production reminds of us our common humanity. It is through casual conversations, habitual routines, and everyday scenarios that we come to understand we are the 99%. Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and The Farewell Speech has reminded me that art can stir us into action and give us a glimpse into understanding the human condition. I guarantee a night out at this show is the key to navigating and taking control of your future. It’s yours for the taking!