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Cherine Fahd, A Proxy for a Thousand Eyes (2020), performance still. Image courtesy the artist. Image: Pamela Pirovic.

A Proxy for a Thousand Eyes 

By Cherine Fahd


Burning with the realities of 2020, artist Cherine Fahd explores the nature of touch and intimacy during COVID-19 through her participatory performance, A Proxy for a Thousand Eyes.

This work invites members of the public to participate in a series of loosely choreographed interactions with the artist, or you can experience the performance as an observer.
In the Utzon Room

Keeping you safe

  • The Sydney Opera House is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government.
  • We strongly recommend that patrons over the age of 12 wear a face mask while attending a performance inside one of our venues.
  • Practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and following the guidance provided by our staff and signage.
  • There are new COVID-specific conditions of entry for audiences attending performances. This includes the circumstances under which you must not attend the Opera House, and what’s required of you when you visit. Please read about them here.

“The camera and a picture, whether moving or still, have the potential to generate intimacy and attachment. I am interested in how making images can motivate us to come together during a crisis.”

Cherine Fahd


Touch in the time of COVID.

The instinctive human urge to touch, to hold, to press, to feel and to be felt has been lost with COVID-19’s social distancing measures. As populations globally are directed to shield themselves from one another, legions of people have been deprived of human touch, the steadfast language of human connection.

Responding to this reality, artist Cherine Fahd's participatory performance, A Proxy for a Thousand Eyes explores the nature of touch and intimacy in the post COVID world. Commissioned as part of Sydney Opera House’s 2020 Art Assembly, the work invites members of the public to participate in a series of loosely choreographed interactions with the artist.

Taking place in the Utzon Room and performed in silence, participants will make contact with Fahd’s body by mirroring her gestures, separated by framed plastic membranes. These personal moments of physical and emotional connection serve to repair and rebind the fissures, incoherence and disconnection of 2020. By locating the texture and tangibility of human connection within these performances, Fahd offers an examination of touch and intimacy that lingers long after the embrace ends.

This performance will be recorded and form the basis of a moving image work that will be screened on the Sydney Opera House’s digital program at a later date. 

Presented by Sydney Opera House

More about the artist...

Working across photography and video performance, Cherine Fahd explores the potential of photography as a social practice to build connections between people. Her recent exhibition projects include 'The National 2019: New Australian Art', Carriageworks (2019), 'On Vulnerability & Doubt', Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2019) and 'Apókryphos', Centre for Contemporary Photography (2019). Fahd has had two books published of her work by M.33 Melbourne, 'A Portrait is a Puzzle' (2017) and 'Apókryphos' (2019) which won the Australia New Zealand Photobook Award. Her writing has been published on The Conversation, ABC News and SBS and academic journals. She is currently the Director of Photography at UTS and an artist in residence at The Clothing Store at Carriageworks, Sydney.

Thank you

A Proxy For A Thousand Eyes is a Sydney Opera House commission, supported by our family of Corporate Partners and Donors, as part of New Work Now.

Thank you to our project donors and ARROW for its support in securing philanthropic seed funding for Art Assembly.

The Albert Fisher Family Trust
Shar Adams
Ben Korbel
Joanna Pretyman
Tom Rivard
Janne Ryan
Lindy Ryan
Diana Snape
Helen Trinca
Mark Wakely

Transport options

  • We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice).  
  • The Sydney Opera House Wilson car park is open and available to use. Wilson Parking is currently offering a $10 discounted rate if you book ahead, please see their website for details.
  • Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House. 

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