Penelope hides under a table to sleep and dream. She hears the sound of the ocean in her min. Also, she hears a song. The voice comes from a powerful woman. Like her.
Penelope vanishes through columns that seem the mastyl of a boat that sails the brave oeans of the world. She wanders around like a ghost of herself reflecting and multiplying into double and triple Penelopes.
Penelope just makes coffee. She calmly takes the pot out of the cabin, purs water, and coffee. And then waits. When the noice calls her attention, she serves the coffee and drink it slowly looking at nowhere. Everyday.
Penelope is waiting. She looks out the balcony and expect the arrival of Ulysses. Feeling the breeze early in the morning brings a special feeling. In that very moment she believes that he will come real soon.
JUAN MANUEL NÚÑEZ
Penelope is Waiting is more than a portrait of a myth. It´s more than a moment to capture. It connects our silent inner life with the terrible sensation of solitude in modern or antique times –immutable for the human being through the existence. It speaks about that intense and painful sensation waiting for the loved one. That anxiety which, why not, may expand towards creativity.
Paloma Zavala performing Penelope sparks my creativity through the lens. She may project sadness, but makes me feel spiritual. Contemplating Penelope´s isolation has a lot of meaning to me as a state of mind attained in the complete absence of others. Just the two of us and the camera. The long absence was there before. She has its own inner Odyssey –fidelity, long chastity, and solitude. She is still waiting. That is what I have captured. JUAN MANUEL NUÑEZ
Juan Manuel Núñez is an airline captain who decided to change the course of his life. He studied Visual Arts and became an artist. He works on painting, sculpture, photography, and video. So, his aesthetical point of view, in constant development, is aerial.
He looks at life from the far away distance that comes from the experience of life in full. His art work represents what he is. A man rooted in the earth: powerful. And an independent soul that is always on the fly: spiritual.
From a very calculated distance, the architecture of his photos are subtle in composition and deep in evocative tones. To his eyes, Penelope is not waiting anymore. She has arrived to her destiny of love. PEDRO VALIENTE
JUAN JOSÉ TALAVERA
The music is created after two elements which are the videoinstallation Penelope is Waiting by Pedro Valiente and the song La lucha by the Mexican group Son de Madera.
These elements shape the tonal construction and its texture density as well as the tonal harmonic aspect.
The videoinstallation, projected on four screens, generates a contrasted tonal treatment in each screen –winds (two clarinets and accordion), strings (violin, viola, violoncello), and drums (two marimbas). In the fourth screen, the only musical part is the song performed by a female singer.
The four screens create an exchange of subtle and changing counterpoints provoking in the audience a stimulating game of sound stimulation linked to space.
Regarding to the song, its modal nature, featured in popular music, is colored by other instruments with different levels of harmonic tension to extract unexpected sound glitter ad flare.
There are two atmospheres clearly distinguished –until the song appears, it´s very static; after the song, the music is intense and progressively rhythmical toward a cathartic and release ending.
JUAN JOSÉ TALAVERA
JUAN JOSÉ TALAVERA composition and musical direction | DESISLAVA KARAMFILOVA violin | PETYA NIKOLOVA KAVALOVA viola | MARTA RAMOS CRIADO cello | MÓNICA CAMPILLO clarinet | ISRAEL MATESANZ bass clarinet | DAVID GORDO accordion | MIGUEL ÁNGEL PÉREZ, VERA GARRIDO marimbas | EDUARDO BURGOS sound mix
SON DE MADERA
The improvisatory, string-driven music of Veracruz called son jarocho has enjoyed several decades of major resurgence. Back-to-the-future recordings mix elder farmer and rancher musicians with the next generation of forward-looking innovators who comprise the group Son de Madera. Son de mi Tierra (They are from my land) burgeons with creativity and reverence for both the old and the new as it draws from rural roots to produce fresh interpretations of this popular Mexican regional music. [Smithsonian Institution]
Based in Veracruz, Mexico, and founded in 1992, Son de Madera´s core members are Ramón Gutiérrez, José T. Vega, and Rubí Oseguera. Ramón, based in Xalapa, leads the group, plays guitarra de son, and sings. José, son of elder master-musician Andrés Vega, lives in Tlacotalpan, plays jarana, harmonica, and sings. Rubí, from Minatitlán, is widely admired for her jaranero and footwork zapateado (footwalk), traditional dance styles. Several guest artists add sounds and sensibilities of both the avant-garde and the rear guard of son jarocho performance. Los Angeles-based Mexican American Juan Pérez adds a contemporary touch with its electric bass. Son de Madera has long been at the forefront of musical revitalization incorporating new sounds and styles.
One day Penelope wakes up and realizes that Ithaca is not real. She thought for years that it was the land where she belonged to. She believed that the island and herself were the same thing since Ulysses and Ithaca were one. She was Ulysses.
That morning she found out that the mountains and the horizon were created by her mind. She discovered that the trees in the garden didn´t depend on her watch to continue existing. Now, they were different, they were other trees. The same happened with all the objects at home –they were unrecognizable. Then, she was afraid of departing from life surrounded by that illogical sensation. Fear of stop being.
Do we create our own reality? Penelope enters a big room where she sees her image projected on four walls. She envisions herself waiting in Ithaca. She is aware of two realities –what she´s living and what she´s watching as spectator. She has to decide if embrace, in full heart, a new life of possibilities out of her control or return to the safety of her enclosure. Forever. PALOMA ZAVALA
Penelope performs Paloma. The symbol of love and fidelity embodies a young woman in Europe today. She is the queen of an empty house –steering the sky from the balcony, hiding bellow a table and dreaming a song, dissolving from herself through columns, making coffee. She also wanders around the hipster district in Madrid. And talk with her dog.
Like Penelope, she is fragile and transparent. And, like Penelope, she is a powerful woman. Making films means to me working with people. No matter how abstract is my thinking, and even my way of approaching visual arts, I always end up close to the spiritual side of life. This not only shapes the poetic style of my work but also inhabits the body of the story.
Paloma was a breaking point shooting the feature film You Are Mythical which is a bridge between young Europeans and classic myths. After her, we all wanted to spend our lonely times building ships in a never ending wait for Ulysses. After her, we also felt mythical. As everybody knows, it´s a feeling that only heroes can inspire in humans. PEDRO VALIENTE
YOU ARE MYTHICAL is a feature film with videoart and performance in documentary style. It tells the story of seven people who connect their life with myths --Penelope, Ulysses, Narcissus, Oedipus, Antigone, Jason, Sirens. The film has been shot in five countries (Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia), and seven languages (Spanish, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Slovenian, Greek).
Shooting Penelope´ story, I felt that we had to expand a moment --when the character goes under a table to sleep. It´s about 7 seconds in the film and 7 minutes in PENELOPE IS WAITING. It´s the kind of fragments of life in silence, no time, and empty spaces, that is a constant search in my work.
A few weeks later, we returned to the house to expand the other three scenes. It´s our multiple portrait of a contemporary Penelope. A woman in love who believes that her island and Ulysses are the same thing. PENELOPE IS WAITING is born. PEDRO VALIENTE
PENELOPE IS WAITING is a videoinstallation inspired by Penelope´ story in the film YOU ARE MYTHICAL directed by Pedro Valiente for Crossing Stages European Project.
Javier Chavarría is a visual artist, art director, and university professor. He works on film and theater designing sets and costumes. He has created the animation segments for YOU ARE MYTHICAL including Penelope, who is one of the seven stories portrayed in this feature film. Coming soon this visual look at Penelope.
Art work by Javier Chavarría at alturaX Design Studio for the website of CROSSING STAGES EUROPEAN PROJECT. www.crossingstages.eu
LECTURES AND RE-INTERPRETATIONS IN THE CLASSIC WORLD
LUZ NEIRA | ADJUNCT VICE-DEAN OF CULTURE AND COMMUNICATION, UC3M
ABSTRACT Penelope character in The Odyssey turned into the archetype of faithful wife. This essay analyses its iconography in several representations documented in vase paintings, reliefs, paintings, and mosaics, as well as her fidelity to the literary version or its misrepresentation. Also, the symbolism and its image re-semantic lecture according to the historical and cultural context of the works.
KEYS Penelope, antiquity, written culture, visual culture, re-semantic lecture.
JAVIER GOROSTIZA | INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER, DIRECTOR OF ROBOTICS DEPARTMENT, UC3M
ABSTRACT Historical and philosophical links between myth and science with focus on technology and robotics. Among Greek myths mentioned, Penelope, Ulysses, Apollo, Achilles, Sisyphus and Prometheus. The essay concludes that, as Plato said, myths explain a reality that logos cannot reach. Science, without poetic language and myths, moves like Psique without its Eros.
NAMES Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Claude Lévi-Strauss, George Boole.
KEYS Myth, science, technology, robotics, quantum physics, artificial intelligence.
PEDRO VALIENTE | FILMMAKER, MULTIMEDIA ARTIST
ABSTRACT Creative process of Penelope is Waiting in the context of Crossing Stages European Project as part of a transmedia platform including You Are Mythical feature, Crossing Europe documentary film, and over seventy short productions.
NAMES Robert Wilson, Bill Viola, Peter Brook, Robert Lepage, Martha Graham, André Bretón, Pablo Picasso, Vsevelod Meyerhold, Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht.
KEYS Videoinstallation, videoart, filmmaking, performing arts, contemporary art, experimental, avant-garde, new technologies, multimedia, transmedia.
June 27 - November 3, 2018
"In the Margin" International Arts Festival,
Factory I Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts
SCREENING IN A NATIONAL MUSEUM
Penelope is Waiting is part of “In the Margin” exhibition organized by Factory, new creative hub to nurture interdisciplinary arts in the Middle East. Facebook: Factory | Instagram: factory_jordan
PREMIERE IN MADRID
Penelope is Waiting premieres in Madrid at La Neomudéjar Avant-Garde Art Center. For the first time the video installation is exhibited on four screens as it was conceived.
ART FESTIVAL AND COLLEGE OF ART IN THE UK
September 23-24, 2016 Plymouth Art Weekender
November 24, 2016 Plymouth College of Art
Penelope is Waiting is selected at Plymouth Art Weekender 2016 and screens at Plymouth College of Art. From Britain´s Ocean City departed the Pilgrims to America, pioneer Francis Scott to the North Pole, and Charles Darwin to Galapagos Island.
WORLD PREMIERE AT INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBIT
WORK IN PROGRESS AT EUROPEAN PROJECT
Penelope is Waiting, as a work in progress, is presented in Centro Artistico il Grattacielo in Italy (Livorno, Tuscany) in a program of new interdisciplinary art works at Crossing Stages European Project. crossingstages.eu
Penelope is the wife of the hero Ulysses (Odysseus) in Greek mythology. She is celebrated for her faithfulness, patience, and feminine virtue. For the twenty years that her husband was away during and after the Trojan War, Penelope remained true to him and helped to maintain his kingdom.
Penelope's parents were Prince Icarius of Sparta and the nymph Periboea. Periboea hid her infant daughter as soon as she was born, knowing that Icarius had wanted a son. As soon as Icarius discovered the baby girl, he threw her into the sea to drown. However, a family of ducks rescued her. Seeing this as an omen, Icarius named the child Penelope (after “duck” in Greek) and raised her as his favorite child.
When Penelope reached womanhood, Odysseus asked for her hand in marriage. Although reluctant to part with his daughter, Icarius agreed, and Penelope went with her new husband to the island of Ithaca. Penelope and Ulysses were deeply in love, so it was with great sorrow that Odysseus later left her and their son, Telemachus, to fight in the Trojan War.
The Trojan War lasted ten years, and it took Ulysses another ten years to get home to Ithaca. During that time, Penelope received the attentions of many suitors. For a while, she put them off by saying that she would consider marriage only after she finished weaving a shroud for her father-in-law, Laertes, who was grieving over Ulysses' absence. Each day Penelope would sit weaving the cloth, but at night she would secretly unravel her work. After three years, a servant revealed her secret, and she had to finish the shroud. Then, Penelope announced that she would marry the man who could shoot an arrow through the loops on a row of twelve ax heads.
Unknown to Penelope, Ulysses had arrived home disguised as a beggar. He wanted to review the situation in his kingdom before revealing his return. The disguised Ulysses won the archery contest and then killed all the suitors. At first Penelope would not believe that he was her husband. However, Ulysses revealed his true identity by telling Penelope a secret about their marriage that only they knew, and the loving couple were finally reunited.
[Myth Encyclopedia ]
PENELOPE IS WAITING is a multiple portrait of a contemporary Penelope who is expecting Ulysses.
We imagine an empty space in the end of the world, which is here. Inside everyone. A long wait full of love where everything is an affirmation of life. (Maybe this is why Ulysses by James Joyce ends: “yes I said I want yes”.)
Originally conceived as a transmedia project, it´s a video-installation/performance for art centers, public spaces, and digital networks. The main element is the simultaneous projection of 4 videos of 7 minutes as a Cubist scene by Picasso.
It allows distribution through a variety of media as movie theaters, television channels, and the internet –Website, Vimeo, YouTube…
PENELOPE IS WAITING is a work by filmmaker/multimedia artist Pedro Valiente, who started working on video design with stagedirector/visual artist Robert Wilson. It´s conceived as a technological tableau vivant coordinated by Alfredo Miralles and Irene Gómez.
Sound design, emotional and subtle, creates a powerful storytelling integrating a performance by Paloma Zavala, Odin Teatret collaborator and emerging artist in Madrid; music by contemporary composer Juan José Talavera; photography by Daniel Rodríguez del Pozo, director at MasMag interactive magazine; still photo by Juan Manuel Núñez; visual art by Javier Chavarría; and web/multimedia developed by Sara Conde.
The project is supported with essays by Javier Gorostiza, industrial engineer/UC3M Robotics Department director; and Luz Neira, expert on classic mosaics/UC3M adjunct vide-dean of Culture and Communication; and PENELOPE IS WAITING author Pedro Valiente.
VIDEOART | PERFORMANCE
As a live performance, it´s a moving portrait of mythical Penelope in four large screens displaced on a squared/rectangular room.
The audience enters the space and decides what to see. They are free to choose since the picture is neither single nor still. Penelope is viewed in different ways –looking through a Balcony, sleeping under a Table, floating around Columns, and making Coffee. Although in this game of mirrors (screens/portraits) there is a double narrative –the open story constructed in the mind of the audience and the one suggested by sound design.
TECHNOLOGY | TRANSMEDIA PROJECT
A robot will allow the audience to operate a video camera, moving through a slider, from its smartphone. It´s the starting point of a tech lab integrating visual arts, industrial design, robotics, and new technologies.
As a transmedia project, PENELOPE IS WAITING is connected with other productions and platforms. It came out filmming one of the seven stories of YOU ARE MYTHICAL feature film.
YOU ARE MYTHICAL is linked to a variety of contents as CROSSING STAGES book, CROSSING EUROPE documentary film, videos, interviews, photos, illustrations, essays, and media.
A unique universe of platforms link intertwined projects experimenting with new forms of art and storytelling:
“Thank you for including our music in this artistic and cultural project. We are pleased to share La lucha, a song dedicated to recreate life and love in the hope that faces adversity. Abrazo."
SON DE MADERA
PEDRO VALIENTE | DIRECTOR
Award winning filmmaker, multimedia artist, writer. He has received over forty honors including awards at Berlinale and Emmy Nominee. His films have been selected in Sundance, MoMA, Whitney Biennial, Lincoln Center, Harvard University, PBS, BBC, TVE, and Canal+. In performing arts, he worked with Robert Wilson and published a book on his creative process; and trained with the Wooster Group, Trisha Brown, and Atsushi Takenouchi. He served as director of international relations at New York Film Academy. PhD Audiovisual Communication, with studies at Columbia University, he is UC3M associate professor. Born in Spain, he has lived ten years in New York and five in Mexico City, working in seventeen countries.
PALOMA ZAVALA | PERFORMANCE
Performer, director, instructor. BFA Textual Interpretation and MFA Theater by UC3M, she has trained abroad in Chekhov technique with Lenard Petit and Joanna Merlin at Michael Chekhov Association and Michael Chekhov Europe, Suzuki and Viewpoints Training with Ellen Lauren, and Commedia dell'arte in Scuola Internazionale dell'Attore Comico. Since 2009 she studies with Roberta Carreri, Odin Teatret actress in Denmark and other countries. Since 2011 she is theater professor at UC3M Theater where she also develops artistic coordination for Crossing Stages European Project.
JUAN JOSÉ TALAVERA | MUSIC
Composer trained in Madrid including studies in counterpoint, fugue, harmony, and composition with masters José Luis Turina and Valentín Ruiz. He has attended professional courses with composers Malcolm Singer, Cristóbal Halffter, and José Evangelista. He is author of contemporary music and concert music interested on mixing the musical expression into performing and visual arts. Jeffrey Jacob, Sebastián Mariné, Cuarteto Leonor, and Sax Ensemble have played his works. He is member of AMCC (Madrid Composer Association.
ALFREDO MIRALLES | ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Contemporary dance performer, cultural manager, filmmaker. His work in artistic production links a background in dance and project management. Since 2009, he combines his work in Aula de las Artes at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) with writing on dance mostly as a critic in the magazine SusyQ. He is developing his own language mixing visual media and the art of movement.
IRENE GÓMEZ | EDITOR
Performer, filmmaker. Editor, producer, and director of film work for Crossing Stages European Project. She works at Communication Department in Aula de las Artes UC3M. She has performed at UC3M Theater Company, and now she develops artistic work at Performing Lab directed by Paloma Zavala. BFA Audiovisual Communication and MFA Mass Media Research at UC3M.
DANIEL RODRÍGUEZ DEL POZO | PHOTOGRAPHY
Producer, director, cinematographer. Audiovisual/multimedia communication and transmedia storytelling professional. Director of EnTren New Media and MasMag, interactive magazine pioneer in Ibero America. He has worked in Europe and Latin America for TVE, Cuatro, BBC, Arte France, History Channel, RAI, Caracol TV, INCAA, and Unesco. Graduated with Ibermedia international scholarship in Creative Documentary at Universidad del Valle (Colombia), and in Management and Production of Documentary Film at TAI Madrid.
JUAN MANUEL NÚÑEZ | STILL PHOTOGRAPHY
Visual artist, airline captain. Creative and adaptable freelance team player with a multidisciplinar professional outlook on commissioned projects including art, photography, painting, design, and aviation assisting. BFA Fine Arts at Francisco de Vitoria, has recently attended a Course on Creativity and Spiritual Photography in La Máquina. He has developed works on corporate image and graphic design, personal photo projects, and contemporary painting. He is Emotional Intelligence specialist, and professor on Aeronautic Human Resources at Universidad Camilo José Cela. Airline captain since 1995.
| With the support of the Culture Program of the European Union |
SPAIN Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
SONSOLES HERREROS | PROJECT MANAGER
SERGIO BLANCO | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
PEDRO VALIENTE | COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR
EVA SANZ | DANCE DIRECTOR
ABEL GONZÁLEZ MELO | THEATER DIRECTOR
PALOMA ZAVALA | ARTISTIC COORDINATOR
LAURA GONZÁLEZ | ASSISTANT MANAGER
ALFREDO MIRALLES | COMMUNICATION
IRENE GÓMEZ | COMMUNICATION
PEDRO DEL VALLE | WEBSITE
NURIA RODRÍGUEZ | SOCIAL MEDIA
CRISTINA TAPIADOR | DOCUMENTATION
MIGUEL ÁNGEL MATEO | ADMINISTRATION
FRANCE Université Paris Diderot
BERNADETTE BRICOUT | CULTURE VICE-DEAN
CHRISTIANE FORTASSIN | CULTURE DIRECTOR
ISABELLE BARBERIS | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
ALINE JAULIN | PERFORMER, SCHOLAR
SHIRLEY NICLAIS | PERFORMER, SCHOLAR
ODYSSEAS FISAS | PERFORMER, SCHOLAR
SLOVENIA University of Ljubljana
MAJA SABEC | DIRECTOR, SCHOLAR
ALEJANDRO RODRÍGUEZ | SCHOLAR
GEMMA SANTIAGO ALONSO | SCHOLAR
PORTUGAL Association A.S.T.A.
RUI PIRES | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
SERGIO MANUEL PEREIRA | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
MARCO LEONE | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
SERENA BERTINI | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR