Europe dances. 48h Congress for 72 Guinea Pigs in Vienna

By Stefan Kaegi / Bernd Ernst (Hygiene heute)

Moderate squeaking> begging tone
High-pitched squeaking> fear
Screaming> pain
Cooing> complete satisfaction
Chatterig teeth> threatening gesture
Chattering and a rocking galt> males want to impress females; greeting
Nose stretched high in the air> curiosity
Leaping in the air> happiness and pleasure
Running zig-zags> high spirits and a good mood

Who is the Metternich guinea pig?
Who are the top guinea pigs?
How do you fight scabies?
What do Hardenberg's continual visits to Paris mean?
Who earns the most parsley?

Hygiene Heute (Stefan Kaegi / Bernd Ernst) organised in cooperation with Austerian Friends of the Guinea Pig (regulars' tabel since 1994) Guinea Pigs in Need and the Edelberg Guinea Pig Ranch on the stage of the on the stage of the Tanzquartier Wien a social experiment: over 300 square meters of space for herd animals that usually have to live in solitary confinement, are well-known for their belligerence and in case of danger hide in burrows: guinea pigs. They live in strict social groupings. There are clear hierarchies in the organised groups, there are kings, princes and subjects. The princes mark out the territory and trace out the borders. Within and between their territories the animals form networks of beaten tracks linking the feudal shelter with the parsley plantations.

In Hall G of the Tanzquartier Wien a Europe biotope is emerging in which some 70 of the rodent performers of the most diverse races will be placed. After the curious animals have explored the territory, it will then be time for distributing the imperial rules of play in the MuseumsQuartier.

Through telescopes, the audience observes the political events like a 21 st century Congress of Vienna. Russians, Dutch, Peruvians, English king guinea pigs and teddies. The red-eyed albinos, unloved in this country, will also be invited. Linked over headphones, alongside the hunting perspective there will be texts by Kotzebue, lectures by veterinary surgeons, historical reports, breeding and politics: conference discussions. In the pen the animals decide for or against liberalism, for or against the restoration, for or against Napoleon. Will the Congress dance?


By: Stefan Kaegi, Bernd Ernst
With: Monika Dworan, founder of “Guinea pigs in need”, 72 guinea pigs. 

In Collaborationt with Meerschweinchenfreunde Österreichs
Performance: Tanzquartier Wien, opening Museumsquartier Wien, June 28 and 29 2001