PENELOPE IS WAITING
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