SIRENENSylvi Kretzschmar


Performance*Sound Choreography*Composition

Six women with megaphones swarm out. Like birds marking their territory through song, the SIRENEN sing and talk their way into public space. At a physical distance from each other, the chorus of SIRENEN discusses how care works without touch, how care work works in social distancing. The interview statements of care workers are spatialized in a sound choreography of amplified voices. A polyphonic and moving loudspeaker system of amplified voices is created.

What has been magnified through the „corona-crisis“? What has become louder that was barely noticeable before? For which longings, which needs, which utopias are the experiences of the pandemic functioning as an amplifier? Looking forward, what will Corona have changed - at worst and at best?

The performers asked these questions to mothers and fathers, educators, nursing staff, domestic helpers and other people who do paid/unpaid care-work in Vienna. A female choir “armed” with megaphones gives voice to these people, singing and speaking a collage of excerpts from the interviews. It is a kind of women's army whose speech is at the same time an act of emphatic care: a form of solidary and active listening and engaged witnessing. The SIRENEN form an alliance of very diverse women (heterogeneous in their interests and experiences, in origin, age, mother tongue as well as different artistic expertise). A choreography and sound composition under conditions of spatial distance establishes connections with each other and with the scattered-gathered audience.

Megaphones have extreme acoustic directionality. Every movement changes the direction and sound of speech or song. The layering of female voices amplified at high frequency by megaphones creates a specific and never-before-heard sound that echoes off the surrounding buildings, creating distant and near echo effects. The megaphones also have a recording and playback function that can be used musically for rhythms and loops. In a hybrid of performance, concert and choreography, an unusual and new form of political speech emerges that explores the megaphones' tonal, rhythmic as well as sculptural potentials as mobile voice amplifiers and musical instruments.

The applause of those who can afford balconies cannot drown out the fact that care work is still too little seen, too little recognized, and inadequately or not paid. This concerns to a large extent "system-relevant" work performed by women and migrants. It is not their voices, but those of white male politicians, virologists and experts that shape the public discourse of the crisis. The chorus of sirens is an amplifier of unheard voices.


Performances #1 + #2: Friedrich-Engels-Platz, 1200 Vienna
Performance #3: Otto Wagner Pavillon, Karlsplatz, 1040 Vienna
Performance #4: Donauinsel: Reichsbrücke / Skater park at the subway exit "Am Hubertusdamm", 1220 Vienna

Further Information

Sylvi Kretzschmar *1977 Jena, lives and works in Vienna

Concept/Direction: Sylvi Kretzschmar

Performance/Composition/Development/Research: Lene Benz, Irene Coticchio, Caroline Koczan, Rahel Kraft, Sylvi Kretzschmar, Patrizia Ruthensteiner

Costumes: Patrizia Ruthensteiner

Production: Oympionik*innen Productions

Choreographic impulses: Camilla Milena Fehér


SIRENENSylvi Kretzschmar

Time Period

Juni 25 to Juli 4, 2021

In cooperation with the BMKOES, the City of Vienna Culture and the cultural commissions of the districts Wieden, Brigittenau and Donaustadt.



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