A photographic documentation about Drag Kings Vienna


Spaced Out is a photo and text based documentary work about the performance collective Drag Kings Vienna and their latest show Back from Outer Space.

The project follows Astrid and Coco, two newcomers who previously had little experience and knowledge about Drag Kings. We follow them on their journey from the creative process of transformation to creation of their own drag characters and stage performance.

The project is also documenting the work of Larissa, the initiator of the group who talks about the Drag King scene in Vienna and informs us about her plans and wishes for the future of the collective.






Larissa is the initiator of Drag Kings Vienna. She is currently studying performance at the Academy of Fine Arts of Vienna, but previously worked as a climbing instructor for many years. Due to injury she had to make a breack, which gave her plenty of time to research drag on the internet. Drag queens dominate the mainstream and she was wondering how it was possible that the other way around didn’t exist. She began research that led her to realize that drag kings as an artistic and activist expression had existed for many decades. „I find it fascinating to look critically at society and identities in a satirical way“.


Astrid is a social worker with no experience with performance. In 2020 she saw the performance by Drag Kings Vienna fort he first time which made a big impression on her. In her oppinion, the mix of humor and criticism in the drag king performance is an excellent way to initiate a discussion about socially important topics. She has decided to try drag herself and took part in several workshops in which the idea oft he Drag character Mike Mustage was born. Astrid describes her drag persona as someone she doesn’t like at all. It is an over the top guy: “Oh I am so masculine and muscular and strong and i know everything!”.

„Developing such a character probably has to do with my intention to portray a person who I have made bad experiences with. This is a mansplaining guy who didn’t take me seriously as a woman. So such bad experiences happen to me with men who are super prepotent because they believe they are better just because they are men. That’s a little funny too. If you portray someone in a ridiculous way, they lose the power to hurt one. There’s something healing about making people laugh about it“.







Back from Out of Space is Coco’s first Drag King appearance. She studied acting, plays ukulele, and sings. About a year ago she has engaged in drag as part of a performance group who used drag elements in their performances: „It was the first time I tied my boobs. It felt so good! And then I went home like that“. Many drag king workshops followed which encouraged her to think of her own drag charachter. Coco explains that there are different reasons for it: „It is fascinating to play with gender. I am interessted in gender and gender expression for a long time. I think it is cool to try out what I would look like as a man and how I would behave. It’s not just about the show for me, it’s also about me personally“.

„Max Heart is a Viennese underground rock dude. He is flirty, outgoing, a little toxic fuckboy who doesn’t care what people think of him. The kind of I find hot, or the one I would have found hot before.“ – Coco about her drag charachter 







At first, Larissa was performing on her own and in 2018 came up with the idea of founding Drag Kings Vienna with three other drag performers. In 2019 the group had 2 shows following a two-year pause due to the pandemic. In Larissa‘s opinion, this break has made a very positive impact on the drag scene in Vienna. During this period drag became much more visible in the media than ever, thanks largely to RuPaul’s Drag Race, but also through short films and music videos. In spring 2022 the demand for drag content in Vienna was huge. There were offers for workshops, through which the group gained new members. 

„People had time and to google and to question things at home for two years, and suddenly this scene has grown so enormously. People have such amazing skills, they are so great and very talented! It’s so nice to see that 20 years after Jakob Lena Knebel and Ashley Hans Scheirl did drag parties in the Marea Alta, it’s blossoming again.“


Larissa describes her drag character Larry Cornetto as somebody whose life stage  and emotional state is opposite to hers. „I’m a classic, old-school drag king. I have decided to reproduce a very classic picture. That means I am not going in the direction of space drag or alien drag, but rather sticking with an average white person. For me it is important to deconstruct masculinity first and then build it up again“.


„Larry Cornetto is a person who shows his sensitivity directly on stage. He shows that men are super vulnerable, that men can often be poor mama’s boys. When I portray someone on stage, it is an incredibly theatrical, compassionate, poor guy. I think it’s really nice to go on stage with him and sing some hartbreak song“.







The Viennese drag king scene is at a point where this art form is experiencing an awakening. There are 3 drag king groups and a few more drag inspired performance collectives. Compared to the 1990s, when drag kings emerged in the world’s largest metropolises and are still active today, highly inspiring today’s generation and whose performances had a feminist and gender theory background, today’s drag trends are different in terms of the motivation and message they send to the audience. Times have changed and people no longer use drag to do political work but as self-reflection, identity and esthetics finding, according to Larissa.











Larissa explains that there are many people who wear drag in their everyday lives right now. One can deal with the norms of our society in different ways. It is almost a protest or an activist and artistic intervention in one’s own environment.


„Drag is not just about performance, but rather a complete, almost philosophical attack on identity, gender, and the system we live in“. – Larissa