As Far As My Fingertips Take Me

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

I experienced this piece, part of This Time Tomorrow—a series of performance art brought together by the Contemporary Arts Center.

From the program: “As Far As My Fingertips Take Me by Tania El Khoury is a conversation through a gallery wall between an audience member and a Syrian 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 experience was quite moving. I entered a gallery space that was also almost entirely white and was instructed to put on a lab coat and a pair of headphones next to a chair by a wall with a circle cut through it at arms height. While I listened to a song inspired by a journey from Damascus to Sweden, a refugee drew the above on my arm.

The lyrics were translated on the facing wall and it was over in a manner of moments. It stuck with me for days as the ink slowly washed away, but the memory of the experience remains.