Sirene (Siren)

Freya Hattenberger &

A still frontal shot shows the artist herself sitting behind a microphone. She is not using it in the usual way to amplify her voice, however. Not one sound leaves her lips and yet she manages to make herself heard. She encircles the microphone with her lips, moves them back and forth and almost puts her mouth completely over it. Through the exact positioning of the speakers, feedback sounds emerge, and thus what are actually inaudible frequencies can be heard as a howling through the room. Freya Hattenberger plays with the oscillations, makes them sound out and modulates them by moving her mouth, which forms a resonance space.

She calls this work Sirene, referring to the warning signal but also to the mythological Sirens, who with their entrancing voices lured seafarers to their death in the watery deep. The artist is also a Siren, for she enchants through the use of her body, but at the same time by means of her intelligence and technical knowledge.

This work captivates us with the dichotomies it represents: body – spirit, technology – sensuality, mythology – physics, taking up the tradition of feminist video performances. In figurative terms, we watch how the woman makes herself heard within the patriarchal [language] system in a way that is both sensual and intelligent – by applying her knowledge of physical properties and by using her body. (Marion Scharmann)

About the video

Title Sirene (Siren)
Year 2007
Videonale VIDEONALE.11
Length 00:03:30
Format 4:3
Country Germany,
Language No dialog
Courtesy the artist
Specifications color, sound, single-channel video

About the artist

Freya Hattenberger
  • 1978 in Offenbach am Main, GER. Studied at the Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, GER, and at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, GER

Insights at Videonale X

X questions
A black sock in the French press. What Freya Hattenberger dreamt last night.