Tania El Khoury Walks the Line Between Reality and Performance, Activism and Art
Miami, Nov. 29, 2017 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) MDC Live Arts, Miami’s most eclectic performing arts series, continues its groundbreaking season, Ojala/ Inshallah: Wishes from the Muslim World, with two interactive installations by artist Tania El Khoury. Gardens Speak and As Far As My Fingertips Take Me will run from Dec. 6-9, at the Gleason Room at the Fillmore, and Clinton Room at New World Symphony, respectively.
Many gardens across Syria conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who walked the streets during the early uprising. Lebanese-British artist El Khoury exhumes their stories in Gardens Speak—a stunning, immersive experience that sold out at The Public Theater’s Under The Radar Festival. Ten audience members at a time are invited to dig soil to reveal the lives of the deceased, whose oral histories have been carefully re-constructed by loved ones and sourced sound material. Hailed as “extraordinary, and emotionally wrenching” by The New York Times, this profound rite of memory is not only a moving account of their lives and untimely deaths, but also a poignant commentary on the costs of war.
Her second installation, As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, is a conversation through a gallery wall between an audience member and a refugee. Through touch and sound, stories of border discrimination are shared. The piece based on the true story of a Palestinian refugee who made the journey from Syria to the UK and now works as a graffiti and stencil artist, as well as a musician and spoken word artist. As recounted by a reporter in The Guardian, “His tale doesn’t just touch me in a fleeting way – as the many stories and images reported in the newspapers do – it goes further. It marks me.” Though the artist will not be in attendance at this performance as he was unable to obtain a visa to the U.S., his voice and story will be told through the audio portion, as another artist exacts the physical elements.
“MDC Live Arts has a strong history of bringing moving and socially relevant projects to Miami Art Week,” said MDC Live Arts Executive Director, Kathryn Garcia. “In this spirit, we are thrilled to present the brilliant work of Lebanese artist Tania El Khoury, whose work pushes the boundaries of what to expect in live performance.”
About the Artist:
Tania El Khoury is a live artist working in London and Beirut. She creates interactive and provocative installations and performances which actively involve her audience. Tania’s work has been shown in five continents in spaces ranging from museums to cable cars and shipping containers. Her work has been curated at various international festivals, including Next Wave Festival, Fierce Festival, City of Women, Spielart Festival, Fusebox, LIFT festival and others and in venues such as Battersea Arts Centre, ICA, Bluecoat, Watermill Art Centre and Tanzquartier Wien. She has been the recipient of the Total Theatre Innovation Award, the Artsadmin Bursary and the Arches Brick Award. Tania is co-founder of Dictaphone Group, an urban research and site-specific performance collective in Beirut aimed at reclaiming the public space and triggering political debate. Tania is also part of the UK artists community, Forest Fringe.
WHAT: Gardens Speak by Tania El Khoury
WHEN: Dec 6-8, at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.
Dec 9, at 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Gleason Room at the Fillmore Miami Beach
1700 Washington Ave | Miami Beach (Entrance on 17th Street, S.W. corner)
TICKETS: $28 + at www.mdclivearts.org | Only 10 people admitted per hour. Advanced tickets necessary. Arrive early as no late entry will be permitted once performing begins. Accessibility challenges, contact email@example.com for details.
WHAT: As Far As My Fingertips Take Me by Tania El Khoury
WHEN: Dec 6-8, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., and 8 – 10 p.m.
Dec 9; 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., and 4 – 6 p.m.
WHERE: Clinton Room at New World Symphony
17th Street between Washington & Drexel Avenues
TICKETS: $15 + at www.mdclivearts.org | Only four people admitted per hour. Performance is one-on-one and lasts approx. 15 minutes. Participants may have to wait up to 45 mins during their scheduled hour. Accessibility challenges, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
>> Click here for photos
>> Click here for Gardens Speak video
>> Click here for As Far As My Fingertips Take Me video
To purchase tickets, and learn more about the 2017-18 MDC Live Arts Season, call 305-237-3010, or visit mdclivearts.org.
MDC Live Arts is Miami’s most eclectic performing arts series. Created in 1990 as Cultura del Lobo, MDC Live Arts has a celebrated history of bringing extraordinary national and international performing artists to Miami. The annual series presents today’s most exciting artists and designs meaningful engagement between these artists, the students of MDC, and the greater community. MDC Live Arts seeks artists from across the globe who push boundaries and honor traditions relevant to Miami’s diverse community, and aims to offer audiences opportunities to discover new ideas, perspectives and forms of expression. For more information, please visit www.mdclivearts.org.
Ojalá/Inshallah: Wishes from The Muslim World is made possible by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s Building Bridges Program. The Building Bridges Program is the grant-making arm of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, which is an extension of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The program supports national efforts to advance relationships, increase understanding, and reduce bias between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. The mission of DDFIA is to promote the study, understanding and appreciation of Muslim arts and cultures. For more information, please visit www.ddcf.org/what-we-fund/building-bridges.
The programs of MDC Live Arts are made possible with the generous support of: Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council; the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the National Endowment for the Arts; and National Performance Network (NPN). MDC Live Arts is a Partner of the National Performance Network (NPN). Major NPN contributors include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Amal is a National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network (NPN/VAN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by MDC Live Arts in partnership with Su Teatro, MACLA and NPN/VAN.
MDC Live Arts Contacts: Alexa Burneikis, Marketing Manager, 305-237-7733, email@example.com
Select requests: Lisa Palley, Palley Promotes, 305-642-3132, firstname.lastname@example.org.