Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

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As Far As My Fingertips Take Me

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Public Invited to Encounter Refugee Experience in Exhibitions at OHIO’s Kennedy Museum of Art and Trisolini Gallery

Ohio University’s School of Art + Design presents the one-on-one performance by Tania El Khoury, “As Far As My Fingertips Take Me,” in Trisolini Gallery, Nov. 9 through Dec. 1, with an opening reception, performance and comments to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9.

A conversation between visiting artist El Khoury and Gallery Coordinator Courtney Kessel will be held in the Ridges Auditorium from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 8. Following the talk will be a meet and greet with El Khoury, co-founder of the Dictaphone Group at the Kennedy Museum of Art, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., where “Border Crossing: Video Installations by Dictaphone Group” is being exhibited through Dec. 16.

“As Far As My Fingertips Take Me” is an encounter through a gallery wall between an audience member and a refugee. Their arms touch without seeing each other. The refugee will mark the audience by drawing on their arm. The audience will listen to those who have recently challenged border discrimination. The marking can be kept or washed away.

El Khoury commissioned musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, who was born a Palestinian refugee in Syria, to record a rap song inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden. Through touch and sound, this intimate encounter explores empathy and whether we need to literally “feel” a refugee in order to understand the effect of border discrimination on people’s lives.

Our fingertips facilitate touch and sensations, but are also used by authorities to track many of us. In today’s Europe, a refugee’s journey can be set as far as their fingertips take them. The Dublin Regulation mandated a fingerprinting database across Europe for all refugees and migrants. The regulation often means that a refugee is sent back to where their fingertips where first recorded, without any regard to their needs, desires, or plans.

To participate in this one-on-one performance, please visit goo.gl/PTZ5Gd to select an available day and time in increments of 20 minutes. Originally performed by Zaraa, at this showing it will be performed by Basil Masri Zada and Shahriar Shafiani.

The song is by Zaraa (vocals, bass and keyboard) with Emily Churchill Zaraa (vocals), Pete Churchill (music production) and Katie Stevens (flute and clarinet). It was commissioned by “On the Move” LIFT 2016 in partnership with Royal Court Theatre, London.

El Khoury is a live artist whose work focuses on audience interactivity and is concerned with the ethical and political potential of such encounters. She creates installations and performances in which the audience is an active collaborator.

Gallery hours for “Border Crossing: Video Installations by Dictaphone Group” at the Kennedy Museum of Art are Monday–Wednesday, and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday–Sunday 1–5 p.m. Gallery hours for “As Far As My Fingertips Take Me” in Baker Center’s Trisolini Gallery are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday.

This College of Fine Arts event is made possible through support from Arts for Ohio.