Position Report I

Radio play and sculptural intervention, 2015

MP3-Player (Download on www.mission-w.net/#johanna-tinzl), headphones, 20:00 min
steel rope, clamps, tapes, brass (120 x 5 cm / 100 x 5 cm)

(…)

Signation: Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo!

Cockoo: Attention, attention, here is the air raid broadcasting service of Vienna. We are about to announce the current air raid situation. We are now switching from radio to wire-radio broadcast.The sirens are howling already. Please make your way to the air-raid shelters!!! I am the faceless voice of wire radio. I am twenty years old. The cuckoo woman. The Cuckoo of Vienna. That's what thousands of Viennese call me. I'm doing my war service here, like all students at the University of Vienna who were not yet working on doctorates. We were thrown out of university for general war service.

Nazi: Such a young thing, you have no idea what difficulties we have had with the bunker's inner structure. After many consultations and negotiations, finally we decided how to arrange these rooms at the beginning of January '45, and now we are working on that here. Get your own picture! Did your Smartphone or audio-guide manage to navigate you into the room of the Reich director, or are you already in the district (»Gau«) organization centre?

(…)


The radio play »Position Report I« guides the listener along a line through the Vienna Woods. It corresponds with the sequence of locations of the »Gaubefehlsstands Gallitzinberg« that is invisible at ground level and is commonly known as »Schirachbunker«. The bunker was planned to function as the »center of the air raid warning system of the Ostmark« in the underground of Gallitzinberg between 1942 and 1945.

In 1944 the so-called cuckoo was introduced in NS-broadcasting. This was not an air raid warning signal, but it alerted the listener to switch from radio broadcasting and to activate their wire broadcasting (vulgo: air raid transmitter). If one could hear »cuckoo, cuckoo« on the radio, people were calling to one another »The cuckoo screeched!«. This meant they had to reach home as soon as possible before the subsequent air raid alarm or to find shelter somewhere else.
The doorways of the bunker were blown up after the liberation of Vienna in 1945; their remains were covered with concrete by today's owners, the Forestry Commission Office of the City of Vienna in 1989. The sculptural intervention in the splinter protection bunker is an acoustic reference to the period after the liberation when the church bells were returned to their towers. This was after many of them had been melted down to produce weaponry for the war.


The radio play »Position Report I«

Production: Florian Pfaffenberger
The Nazi: Michael Strasser
The women of the cuckoo: Barbara Kapusta
The news girl: Eva Engelbert
The girl's choir: Veronika Barnaš, Gabi Edlbauer, Elisabeth Greinecker, Marlene Hausegger,
Martina Kigle, Eva Seiler, Johanna Tinzl
The American soldier: Nicholas Hoffman
The radio announcer: Florian Pfaffenberger

»Mission W« was curated and organised by Eva Engelbert und Katrin Hornek.

picture caption
© Studio DCW (1st/2nd/4th)
© Christine Tinzl (3rd)
© eSeL (5th)