s n i f f e r is comprised of a 4 x 8m satellite floor map of the perth metro area, which is used to plot the purchases of over 70 contra-banned items which had been forbidden to enter iraq over the past 12 yrs for fear of biological or chemical agents being produced. they included: baby food, nail polish, bandages, paper, sanitary pads & shampoo as well as x-ray equipment, epilepsy medication & surgical instruments. during the exhibition, pvi set about collecting one sample of each item on the list from local retailers within the map’s region. these purchases are placed or suspended directly above their locations on the map.
as part of the process, telephone calls are made to ascertain locations & costs of the items. these calls are phone-tapped and then aired as part of the installation. pvi construct homemade protective biochemical suits to assist in our inspection of the city and for a period of 7 days, carry out a series of targeted hits on suspicious locations and known harborers of these potentially ‘deadly’ ingredients. for the wa exhibit, suspects included:
> toys ‘r’ us
> maurice meade hairdressers
> the $2 store,
> busy bee chemists
> the royal perth hospital.
the costume making and all city manoeuvres are video recorded and played back in the space via tv monitors. as a potentially deadly environment, pvi seal the exhibit in an air tight room, covered in duct tape and plastic sheeting and then slice open one entrance into the environment for gallery visitors. an arial mounted spy camera is positioned on the ceiling of the exhibit, directly above the map and the footage is relayed live to a monitor outside the sealed space.
pvi present complex ideas with an anything can happen spirit of fearlessness.”
the age, melbourne.
devised & performed by: pvi collective
residency manager: fremantle arts centre
researcher: pvi collective
creative development residency, fremantle arts centre, 2004
s n i f f e r – 3 minute promo
commissioned by the fremantle arts centre one month prior to the u.s. led invasion of iraq