The Glowing Whistle Festival

The project The Complaints Choir, shown as a video installation, will be contributing to Sparwasser HQ festival The Glowing Whistle Festival, which aims to ...utilize the exhibition space as a stage.... - is a festival that looks at different artistic positions working within performance and other 'staged' productions.

While the two first contributors to the festival, Ho Tzu Nyen and Köken Ergun, focused on ...extremes of disciplinary exercises in their own country... we consider The Complaints Choir, consisting of 4 videos to be screened, to be an excellent continuation of reflections upon how artists and their work contribute to democratic processes in their disciplinary societies.

The opening will take place on Friday, February 23. between 7 pm and 11 pm,
in Torstrasse 161, Berlin Mitte, you are welcome! After this the open hours are Wednesday Friday 4 pm - 7 pm and Saturday 2 pm - 6 pm


An angoing project by Tellervo Kalleinen & Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen
Since 2005

February 24. - March 10.

In May 2005 we invited people of Birmingham to complain about anything they want and sing their complaints out together with fellow complainers. The project was open to everybody - no singing skills required. Many people sent in their complaints - about Birmingham, about other people, about world issues and most of all: about themselves. Fifteen people finally signed up to the project, who had the courage to take responsibility for their complaints. The Participants transformed the complaints into an impressive choir song during a two-week complaints workshop with the help of a local musician.
The First Complaints Choir of Birmingham became a surprise success and soon after we received many requests from people who hoped for a complaints choir in their hometown as well. They expressed (almost with a certain pride) that in their particular town people are especially talented complainers: either by quantity (Belgrade), existentialism (St. Petersburg) or sophistication (Buenos Aires).

So far Complaints Choirs have been organized in Birmingham, Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg, Helsinki and St. Petersburg. In each place the we worked with a local musician.

The complaints collected to the song can vary from small daily irritations into global issues. Anything that truly annoys people is useful material for the Complaints Choir. In Birmingham people complained for example about unfriendly bus drivers, dead bananas and slow computers. In Helsinki the most favourite topics were ring tones of mobile phones, people who smell in public transport and the fact that Finland always looses to Sweden in competitions. While Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg- Complaints Song was slightly more political from its content, St. Petersburger's emphasized deep basic human issues like: "I complain about existential horror".

The videos can be seen and heard in

The exhibition is kindly supported by FRAME, Finish Fund for Art Exchange