Borderline Dialogue by Tara Fatehi Irani | performance commission 2019

BORDERLINE DIALOGUE by TARA FATEHI IRANI in collaboration with Afshin Chizari, Daniela Contreras López, Bettina Fung, Alisa Oleva, Laura Ríos, Emily Elizabeth Sweeney and Malcolm Whittaker

A coming together of seven actions for public space performed in Australia, Hong Kong, Iran, Ukraine, USA, Chile and Mexico. Borderline Dialogue is a container for different understandings and experiences of borders. It embraces the border as a meeting point and a site where different bodies, concepts and perspectives bleed into one another. 

These performative actions are the result of a dialogue between Tara Fatehi Irani and her collaborators who have each contributed with their unique approaches towards the notion of borders and its performative potentials. From lived experiences of border crossing to ephemeral markings and abstract interpretations, this work encompasses personal boundaries (Afshin Chizari), the Russia-Ukraine conflict and its consequences in the border city of Mariupol’ (Alisa Oleva), engagements with arbitrary borders in urban space (Daniela Contreras López), private choreographies and temporary borders marked at each step (Bettina Fung), touching and the erasure of borders of our bodies (Laura Ríos), invisible and obsolete borders encountered in everyday life (Emily Elizabeth Sweeney) and the paradox of being simultaneously on two sides of the border of work/play, art/not-art, night/day (Malcolm Whittaker). 

This video uses documentation of these actions as material for a new visual venture. Original music composed by Pouya Ehsaei uses recordings of the conversation between the artists in an experiment on blurring the lines between speech, music and background noise. 

Borderline Dialogue portraits

Borderline Dialogue by Tara Fatehi Irani in collaboration with Afshin Chizari, Daniela Contreras López, Bettina Fung, Alisa Oleva, Laura Ríos, Emily Elizabeth Sweeney and Malcolm Whittaker


Tara Fatehi Irani is an artist, writer and performance maker working with mistranslated memories and unattended archives. Her work is primarily concerned with the ephemeral interactions between memories, words, bodies and sites and their inherent mistranslations. Her practice ranges between yearlong daily projects, site-responsive art, performance, dance, audio-visual, installations and writings. Her most recent project Mishandled Archive is a performance-installation and a series of 365 micro-performances that disperse a family archive in public places around the world.

performingborders | LIVE is a programme of events and new commissions focusing on the exploration of artistic practices happening within the UK live art sector around notions of cultural, juridical, racial, gendered, class, physical and everyday borders. Curated by Alessandra Cianetti and Xavier de Sousa.

Presented by performingborders and Foreign Actions Productions in collaboration with Live Art Development Agency (London, UK), Contact Theatre (Manchester, UK), Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (Brighton, UK), Artsadmin (London, UK), Deptford Lounge (London, UK), Beyond the Wall/Más Allá del Mur Festival (Nogales, US/Mexico), and the Centre for The Study of Sexual Dissidence (University of Sussex, UK). Supported by the Arts Council England.

Featured image credits: Borderline Dialogue, image by Tara Fatehi Irani.

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Length: 24m 10s