By Soya the Cow
After appearing at animal rights and climate protests, in theatres and art festivals, and most recently on The Voice of Germany, the singing drag cow presents her first exhibition, Planet Moo
, showcasing photographs, video works, masks and costumes that will transport you into Soya’s fascinating bovine universe.
opens on May 21st at 5pm accompanied by a talk with Soya the Cow herself, who will provide a glimpse into her world.
Register for the Opening
The alter-ego of the artist and musician Daniel Hellmann
, who lives in Berlin and Zurich, Soya blurs the boundaries between male and female, human and cow, and manages the balancing act between a serious desire to change the world and a humorous sense of lightness.
The artist’s transformation into their drag cow persona stands for a larger societal, economic, ecological and ethical transition. Thus, Soya attempts to make the unbearable more bearable and the unimaginable imaginable. She playfully questions the relationship between humans and non-humans, between fast food and fast fashion, between those who eat and those who are turned into products and eaten. What would our lives look like if we stopped cutting each other into pieces? Can we be free if not everyone is free?
© Olivia Schenker
About Daniel Hellmann:
Daniel Hellmann is a singer, performer, dance and theater maker from Zurich. He studied philosophy, classical singing and theater / performance and since 2012, he has been developing his own artistic work, touring internationally and winning various awards. Hellmann sees his artistic practice as a form of intersectional activism. His projects explore the body, bodily relationships and desire, and question social norms and power relations in the fields of sexuality, human and animal rights.
As part of his interactive performance Full Service (2014), Hellmann has executed hundreds of services around the world for a corresponding negotiated fee. His solo performance Traumboy (2015) on male sex work was selected for Sélection Suisse en Avignon and for Swiss Selection Edinburgh. Hellmann recently developed the female counterpart Traumgirl together with Anne Welenc - a third production on the subject of sex work, which premiered in August 2019 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Since 2017, Hellmann's work has increasingly focused on the relationships between humans and other animals. The music theater performance Requiem for a piece of meat (2017) was awarded the June Johnson Dance Prize and invited to the Swiss Dance Days 2019. With his alter ego Soya the Cow - a sex-positive, feminist, vegan drag cow, Hellmann has created the one-cow-show Dear Human Animals (2020), he appears in theaters, panel discussions and night clubs and is currently recording his first music album Purple Grass.
In addition to his own works, Hellmann has created other pieces in variable artistic collaborations - Nach Lampedusa - Wandererfantasien (with Ursina Greuel & Samuel Fried / 2014) on the situation of refugees in Switzerland, and the performance All In (with Layton Lachman & Anne Welenc / 2019) on triadic love relationships. Planet Moo is his first visual art installation in a gallery space.
Soya encourages all attendees to donate to Rowdy Girl Sanctuary in Waelder, TX, a former beef cattle ranch that had a vegan change of heart. With your donation, you allow the resident cows to live a life in safety and happiness without human exploitation.
Planet Moo is part of a larger US tour that includes performances, exhibitions, and artist talks in Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Kansas City. This exhibition is presented with generous support from the City of Zurich, the Canton of Zurich, and Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council.