Becoming Siren

Becoming Siren (September 1940 - May 1941), 2020, Vexer Verlag, english, 104 pages, colour and bw images Brochure, 21 x 27 cm, designed by Alexandra Hopf and Book Book, Berlin ISBN 978390711234

Becoming Siren links the cultural history centred around the sirens with the story of the legendary “Siren Suit”, an overall worn by women in England during World War II. In addition, dancers of the performance group The Sirens performed in these overalls during the Blitzkrieg. In bunkers and underground shelters they developed a choreography that transformed the state of emergency into a rite of passage. Within the narrative this opens up space for a utopian social moment dissolving gender polarities and class differences. Historical texts of animal and human camouflage behaviour depict how boundaries between subject and object dissolve, as well as ideas about the cyborg are being reflected in essays inspired by science theorist Donna Haraway. Based on historical source material and the reconstructed scenes of the dance, it becomes apparent how diverse the mythological siren is. The anthology jumps back and forth in terms of time and content; the resulting gaps create new spaces for fictions and transformations. Based on the historical source material and the reconstructed scene images of the dance, it becomes clear not only how multifaceted the mythological siren is, but also how she has empowered herself after centuries of appropriation of her myth.