Memories and Fabulation by Raed Yassin
By Admin N : Our society today has reached a point where, and oh so very sadly, it venerates vanity, stupidity and obscenity. We have become a living proof that evolution is indeed a cycle that has reached its peak at some point and has nowhere to go but down. But every now and then, you meet thinkers, people who haven’t yet sold their brains and soul to the devil in Prada. A while back, one of my encounters happened to be with an artist and musician called Raed Yassin. I’ve never heard of him but he was giving a lecture and I was curious to know more about him and his work (especially since stalking him on google revealed vague yet intriguing info).
Experimenting with all types of material, raed Yassin’s work is based mainly on imagination and fabulation, toying with reality to create a substitute world; he goes from re-interpreting his own memories to investigating our nation’s collective memory, while basing himself on the pop culture to present them.
“I’m not a social worker but as an artist, I tend to involve people in my work”
Probably one of Raed’s most interesting work is a video/installation piece entitled “who killed the king of disco” in which Raed rejects the idea that his father died and instead creates a whole scenario where his father was a disco king who leaves his family to become a movie star in Egypt. The medium used here is stills from old Egyptian movie from which he created his installation, accompanied by a a slow motion looping video of a hand manipulated VHS tape.
Another interesting work of Yassin’s is entitled “china”, 7 porcelain vases depicting events of the civil war, relating it to ancient Greece when people used to documents their battle on vases. The 7 vases represented seven major events in the civil war that changed Lebanon’s demography. Painted by masters in vase painting and produced in China, Raed opted for these vases to be mass produced in china as a way of making it accessible to everybody, maybe then, people can finally reconcile with the war and what happened.
“My art requires double effort from me and the audience”
But probably one of my favorite works has to be the “Atfal Ahdath”, a Beirut based collective consisting of Raed Yassine, Vartan Avakian and Hatem Imam. The project includes installation, videos and photography and was entitled: Take me to this place: I want to do the memories. The three guys went from a country to another throughout the Middle East and visited studios where they had their picture taken. These are the results:
Raed explains that because these people as so poor that they can’t travel anywhere, they go to these studios and choose the “place” they want to be in, again fondling with the concept of fabulation and the creation of an alter-reality.
“The format/medium doesn’t matter, it’s about breaking boundaries”
What is highly interesting in Yassin as an artist is that he closely relates to his society, processes his socio-cultural perception and projects his thought onto the audience asking them for a double effort: to perceive and to analyze where the art work cannot get accomplished but with their interaction.
It is when he rejected all sorts of materialism that he got connected to his inner state of mind, producing a set of the most authentic art works I have ever seen, proud of Raed Yassin.