Three telescopes are installed near Adam Art Gallery, and a pair of binoculars placed at Freyburg Beach wharf. Each item has a pair of headphones attached. By looking through them audiences can watch a figure rowing a little boat in tight circles across the bay. A book faces him in the stern. Through the earphones the audience can hear the artist reading aloud from the book as he rows.
Penelope’s Window is part of a practice that originates from, is presented in, and made in relation to marine environments to critique and unsettle geo-political politics and familiar regimes of performance presentation. The work explores colonial and post-colonial issues propelled by the white male protagonist, using the waters of Te Whanganui-a-Tara as the stage for a satirical performance about journeys of ‘myth’ and ‘discovery.’
Central to this performance are notions of male absence, futility, exploration, dominion, and a preoccupation with the sublime. It reduces the performing figure to a tiny shape labouring in the harbour and travelling in circles. The work also explores embodied performance as seen over a long distance and extended durations, using view-finding devices and the site of colonial 18th-century gravestones to frame the experience.
Pawa runs on the contributions of our event goers and public funding.
We believe performance art should be assible to everyone, thats why majority of our shows are open to the public, however if you have funds to spare please consider contributing.