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Artist Talk + Opening Reception: Garden of Broken Shadows

June 23, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Artist talk with El Rass in the Dark Horse Cafe at 401 Richmond, followed by the exhibition opening reception at Critical Distance (Suite 122)

Friday, June 23rd, 2023
6:30 – 9:30 pm:
401 Richmond: Dark Horse Cafe and Critical Distance, Suite 122

Join us for an artist talk with Lebanese rapper El Rass at Dark Horse Cafe, located inside 401 Richmond. Presented as part of Critical Distance’s summer exhibition Garden of Broken Shadows, El-Rass will be in conversation with curator Fatma Hendawy. Informally, they will discuss different topics starting from the cultural and linguistic specificity of Arab rap to El-Rass’s philosophical analysis of identity and immigration issues. Immediately following the talk we will proceed to the Critical Distance gallery for the opening reception of Garden of Broken Shadows.

This event is free with registration; space is limited and seating is first-come, first-served.

About the artist

Mazen El Sayed (aka El Rass), is a rapper and music producer from Tripoli, Lebanon. His discography includes 8 albums, the most recent is titled “Ard El Khof” , as well as more than 200 singles in collaboration with other music-makers and rappers from the region. El Rass’s work has earned recognition and visibility in the Arab world, specifically for his dense lyrical content, versatility of styles and subject matter, and his personal sonic approach. El Sayed worked as a journalist before devoting his time to music, and has been described as a subversive voice inspired from traditional and contemporary expression, from the spiritual and the worldly.


Critical Distance prioritizes creative and collaborative approaches to access in conversation with guest curators, artists, access professionals, and people in community. Both Dark Horse Cafe and the Critical Distance gallery are located on the ground floor at 401 Richmond, a wheelchair accessible building with a ramp at the Richmond Street doors and an accessible washroom on every level. The gallery is equipped with automatic doors and we commission audio description for all exhibitions. Updates on any measures we develop in relation to artworks or events will be posted as it becomes available. For any questions or more information, please contact us at info@criticaldistance.ca.

Critical Distance thanks co-presenter MARSM Canada for partnering on programming for El Rass. Garden of Broken Shadows is made possible through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Critical Distance gratefully acknowledges funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.



401 Richmond
401 Richmond St. West
Toronto, ON M5V3A8 Canada
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