Zorka Wollny

Voicers—Oratorio for Five Speakers and a Listening Crowd (2019)

Zorka Wollny’s oratorio explores political speech—and particularly its sound—as a medium for collective experiences and affects. Sampling various modes of political address found in public life today, she turns their clichés into material for a nontraditional opera. Five politicians hold speeches typical for their respective positions. In recognizable fragments taken from the daily press, they cater to different target groups, projecting visions of the past and the future. Regardless of whether their outlook is conservative or radical, their political jargon soon falls apart and becomes music. Concrete references disappear behind rhythmic repetition and sound itself. What remains is the actual meaning of political speech as a form of address that always refers to a “we” or a “you,” constructing collective subjects that it then inspires with hope and fear. The sixth performer is the audience, as it listens and inevitably reacts to the ethical challenges posed by all these hypnotic political speeches.

19.9.19, 17:00–18:00

Duration: ca. 60 min.

Herrengasse 16
8010 Graz
♿ Venue accessible for wheelchairs

Google Maps

In English and German

Free access

Commissioned and produced by steirischer herbst ’19

Performers aka Speakers: Anna Clementi, Marek Kalbus, Ludwig Obst, Marc Weiser, and Angela Wingerath
Percussion: NU Unruh (Einstürzende Neubauten)
Choir: 20 malicious men
Studio and recording: Kalle Enkellman (Makawi Music)
Casting: Thomas Herbst (Karlrecords)
Film: Małgorzata Mazur
Research assistance: Martyna Hadyńska

→  Video Archive

Zorka Wollny (1980, Kraków) is an artist and composer working mostly with choreographed performances and concerts, which are created in direct reference to political, social, and architectural contexts. Wollny lives in Szczecin, Poland, and Berlin.