Photo courtesy of the artist
Tania El Khoury is a live artist creating installations and performances focused on audience interactivity and concerned with the ethical and political potential of such encounters. Her work has been translated and presented in multiple languages in 32 countries across six continents, in spaces ranging from museums to cable cars to the Mediterranean Sea. She is a 2019 Soros Art Fellow and the recipient of the 2017 International Live Art Prize, the 2011 Total Theatre Innovation Award and Arches Brick Award. Tania holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. In 2018, a survey of her work entitled ear-whispered: works by Tania El Khoury took place in Philadelphia organised by Bryn Mawr College and FringeArts Festival and funded by the Pew Centre for Arts and Heritage. Tania is affiliated with Forest Fringe in the UK and is the co-founder of the urban research and performance collective Dictaphone Group in Lebanon.
Cultural Exchange Rate
Tania El Khoury | Live Arts Bard Commission | U.S. Premiere
The cruelest of borders are invisible to the eye and present in everyday life: the death traps set within a moving body of water and the concealed militarisation of faraway border villages. Cultural Exchange Rate is an interactive live art project in which artist Tania El Khoury shares her family memoirs of life in a border village between Lebanon and Syria; marked by war survival, valueless currency collections, brief migration to Mexico, and a river that disregards the colonial and national borders.
The audience is invited to immerse their heads into one family’s secret boxes to explore the sounds, images, and textures of traces of more than a century of border crossings.
Cultural Exchange Rate is based on the artist’s recorded interviews with her late grandmother, oral histories collected in her village in Akkar, the discovery of lost relatives in Mexico City, and the family’s attempt to secure dual citizenship.
More on Tania El Khoury:
- Tania El Khoury Website
- Dictaphone Group Website
- Article: “Open Society Foundations Name Winners of 2019 Soros Arts Fellowships”
- Article: “Tania el Khoury: Meet the Lebanese live artist testing the limits of public space”
- Article: “Stories Of Syria’s Uprising, And Its Backyard Funerals, In ‘Gardens Speak'”