Our sole extant semi-dory (a.k.a. “HMS Biggie Smalls”) will be making made its penultimate performance/voyage this weekend as a player in Paul Benney and Robert Sullivan’s Retreat to Victory at Proteus Gowanus… before retiring to become a flower garden at Myrtle Village Green.  We are happy to see the semi-dory having a dignified run at old age.  We, of course, will always remember the semi for its less historic but no-less important voyages along the Gowanus Canal, which often looked more like this:


Retreat to Victory
A performance by Paul Benney and Robert Sullivan

Saturday, May 11th, 7:30 pm 

Proteus Gowanus
$5 admission


In conjunction with [Proteus’ exhibition] Battle Ground exhibit, performance artist Paul Benney and author Robert Sullivan (My American Revolution) will join forces in this interdisciplinary meditation on the Continental Army’s not-well-remembered retreat from Brooklyn to Manhattan, from loss to not-loss. In addition to Paul Benney’s ethereal choreography and Robert Sullivan’s words and song, the performance will include quilts by Suzanne Sullivan and music by Louise Sullivan. Time past and present will merge as guests are transported down our alleyway to the performance in a wooden boat. Join us!

Robert Sullivan is the author, most recently, of My American Revolution, a book about the American Revolution described by Sam Roberts of the NY Times as “a provocative Baedeker for a landscape of loss, Gen. George Washington’s route from Brooklyn to “the very first Middle America” and back…” Other books by Sullivan include Rats, The Meadowlands, A Whale Hunt, How Not To Get Rich Or Why Being Bad Off Isn’t So Bad, Cross Country, and The Thoreau You Don’t Know.  His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, New York, A Public Space, Runner’s World, Condé Nast Traveler, GQ, Rolling Stone, The Independent of London, The London Times and Vogue. He was born in Manhattan and lives in Brooklyn with his family. 

Paul Benney lives and works in Brooklyn, N.Y. He studied Theater Arts and Dance at U.C. Santa Cruz and co-directed OnSite Dance Company in San Francisco with Jessica Lutes for twelve years before moving to New York in 2002. He was a Movement Research Artist in Resident in 2003, and he continues his performance related work with the performance art group, TRYST. His varied performance experience includes stints with the underground Rock pioneers The Residents, Joe Goode Performance Group, Zaccho Dance Theatre, David Neumann’s Advanced Beginners Group, and The Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. Paul has also performed on several magical occasions at Proteus Gowanus. He is a Gym Teacher and Coach at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn.

Proteus Gowanus

543 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Gallery Hours
Thurs & Fri: 3 – 6
Sat & Sun: 12 – 6

Study Hall Hours
Mon – Fri: 10 –

Semi on the Newtown, 2010

Semi on the Newtown, 2010