PERFORMA 19 PRESENTS THE U.S. DEBUT OF TARIK KISWANSON’S AS DEEP AS I COULD REMEMBER,
AS FAR AS I COULD SEE
21 november 19.00 – 20.00
23-23 november 19.00 – 20.00
Co-Commissioned with Lafayette Anticipations
The Performance is a Meditation on Fragmented Diasporic Identities
Performa is pleased to present Tarik Kiswanson’s first major presentation in the United States, AS DEEP AS I COULD REMEMBER, AS FAR AS I COULD SEE, co-commissioned by Performa and Lafayette Anticipations in Paris for the Performa 19 Biennial. Tarik Kiswanson was born in 1986 in Halmstad, Sweden where his family exiled from Palestine in the 1980s. His artistic practice—which encompasses writing, sculpture, performance, sound and video works—evinces an engagement with the poetics of métissage: a means of writing and surviving between multiple conditions and contexts. His work examines questions of displacement and interstitiality that specifically relate to the context of what is lost, and what is gained through migration. Notions of rootlessness, regeneration, and renewal are recurring themes in Kiswanson’s oeuvre. Conceived as an installation and performance, the artist will work with a cast of New York-based eleven-year old children that will perform poetic, diaristic texts relative to the human condition and coming of age.
Édouard Glissant’s notion of the “poetics of relation” has greatly influenced the kinetic and responsive qualities of the artist’s work. As our contemporary moment is one of accelerating multiplicity, thinking relationally can help to actualize a shared world of “infinite difference.” His practice is shaped by movement, by blurring borders, by belonging nowhere and everywhere. His various bodies of work can be understood as a cosmology of related conceptual “families,” each exploring variations on themes like refraction, multiplication, disintegration, hybridity, and polyphony through their own distinct language: “my identity is one that is defined by multiple cultures, my work stems from my own condition of being a first-generation immigrant who is shaped by the aftermath of the diaspora. Throughout my life I have explored through writing and sculpture the question of identity and being ‘in-between’—the hybrid identity.”
An earlier iteration of this work took place at Lafayette Anticipations in Paris in May 2018, which Le Monde described as a “tender and hypnotic polyphony (that) provides a meditation on the human condition.” Kiswanson was also recently commissioned a new performance work by Centre Pompidou, entitled DUST, a new chapter in his ongoing collaboration with preadolescents. The costumes for the performance were created in collaboration with the Tiraz Foundation in Amman, Jordan – one of the largest collections of Middle-Eastern clothing spanning two centuries of textile heritage. Kiswanson X-ray scanned the garments from the collection, and superimposed them with garments from the original performers’ own wardrobes, which were highly influenced by sportswear. The result is hybrid motifs, representing hundreds of years of cultural heritage.
For his Performa Commission in New York, Kiswanson reflects on the rich history of New York as a center of immigration, by casting children from culturally diverse backgrounds representing various neighborhoods and boroughs in the city in the hopes of weaving together different notions of identity. Presented at a moment of great uncertainty and instability for immigrants generally, and especially for those of Arab descent, Kiswanson’s cosmopolitan thinking and pluralist values imbedded in the work, propose greater understanding and intercultural dialogue among participants and audiences alike.
ABOUT TARIK KISWANSON
Born in Sweden of Palestinian descent, Tarik Kiswanson (b. 1986) holds a BA from Central Saint Martins in London and an MFA from Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. In recent years, Kiswanson has become recognized as a major new voice on the European scene with solo projects at institutions including Centre Pompidou, Fondation Ricard, Lafayette Anticipations, Palais de Tokyo and Mudam. He has also participated in the Lyon biennial and is currently showing his work in the Ural Industrial Biennal in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Kiswanson is represented by Almine Rech (Paris) and carlier | gebauer (Berlin).
As Deep As I Could Remember, As Far As I Could See is co-commissioned by Performa and Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris. Curated by Charles Aubin and co-produced with Hallands Konstmuseum. Additional support provided by Swedish Arts Council, Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Performa Commissioning Fund, Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, Étant donnés Contemporary Art, a program of the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE) Foundation, Institut français and Noreen Ahmad.