Tania El Khoury and Basel Zaraa’s captivating multi-sensory experience arrives online at The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi
As Far As Isolation Goes creates an interactive, one-to-one online experience using touch and sound to explore the impact of isolation on mental health and the challenges faced by refugees
Abu Dhabi, UAE – September 9, 2020: The unique, interactive show, As Far As Isolation Goes by Tania El Khoury and Basel Zaraa launches today (Wednesday, September 9), as part of an innovative physically distanced fall season at The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD).
Created by live artist Tania El Khoury in collaboration with musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, As Far As Isolation Goes is performed via Zoom for a single audience member at a time. The show will run from September 9 until October with time slots available from 4-6pm and 7:30-9:30pm. To accompany the show, on Tuesday October 6, El Khoury will host a live online workshop, detailing her process of creating live art in the context of social distancing.
Through a dynamic journey of touch, sound, and audience interactivity, As Far As Isolation Goes is an intimate one-to-one experience that forces audiences to engage with the inhumanities faced by refugees in detention centers and their experiences with a mental health system that disregards their political and emotional contexts. The performance explores the imprint these surroundings leave on refugees, as audiences physically display their emotions by drawing on themselves.
The performance is based on El Khoury and Zaraa’s first collaboration, As Far As My Fingertips Take Me, where Zaraa was commissioned by El Khoury to create a rap song inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden. This work has now been re-imagined as an online experience.
Executive Artistic Director of The Arts Center Bill Bragin commented: “When we made a commitment to reinventing ourselves as a new kind of online performing arts center for this fall, we knew we needed to reach out to Tania el Khoury. Through our time together during her previous Gardens Speak residency, we knew of her commitment to reimagining the form of performance with each work. In Isolation, she builds on a body of work that explores what she describes as “listening as a radical act, sensing, embodying.” The Arts Center is similarly committed this fall to exploring who new forms of performance can be meaningful, not as a substitute for in-person events, but uniquely moving and thought-provoking experiences in-and-of themselves.”
El Khoury is a live artist specializing in installations and performances that explore the potential of interactivity to engage audiences with ethical and political questions. She is a Distinguished Artist in Residence of Theater and Performance and co-director of MA in Human Rights & The Arts at Bard College, New York, and has had her work translated and presented in 32 countries across six continents. Her performance, Garden Speaks, was presented in a sold-out residency at The Arts Center in 2018.
Zaraa is a spoken word artist and percussionist who writes on themes of exile and resistance, and has worked with international artists including Akala, Guildhall youth project (Im)possibilities, Palestinian hip-hop group Katibeh Khamseh, Arabic fusion band Raast and funk band Shokuni.
Individual bookings for As Far As Isolation Goes are now available, with each 15-minute show dedicated to one person. To experience the show, participants will need a medium black permanent marker pen, headphones, a glass of water, paint brush of any size and a tissue or cloth.
About The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi
Presenting music, theater, dance, film and interdisciplinary performances that defy definition, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi is a performing arts center that presents distinguished professional artists from around the world alongside student, faculty, and community productions. The Arts Center draws on the resources of NYUAD to create a dynamic space for research, investigation, and the active pursuit of knowledge and wisdom for audiences as well as visiting artists. The Arts Center is proudly supported by Swyp as lead sponsor and GAC as sustainer sponsor.
About NYU Abu Dhabi
NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from more than 115 nations and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU’s campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.
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