Raed Yassin “Disco Tonight”
On Tuesday, 29 November 2011, from 20.00 to 22.00, Kalfayan Galleries in Athens, Greece present the solo exhibition of the artist Raed Yassin titled "Disco Tonight". Two videos by Raed Yassin will be featured in this show, ‘Disco' and ‘Tonight', which were made during 2007-2009. Drawing his material from Egyptian films, Yassin investigates the role of the cinema in the formation of the Arabic collective unconscious.
At first glance, ‘Tonight' looks like a still portrait of a family staring at the spectators, their gaze released from the confines of one domicile and into others, as in Diego Velázquez's Las Meninas. However, one begins to slowly notice a series of blocks of color, lines, and distortions forming and disappearing into the image, creating an air of dramatic tension through their abstract operations. This work is highly personal since one of the main features of the family portrait is the absence of the father figure. It extends the loss of Yassin's own father into the territory of fiction. ‘Tonight' is also a statement on the fragility of the family as an institution and the manners in which familial intimacy can be breached. This is the reason behind his decision to extract the image from VHS tape, a format strictly designed for private home viewing which first began to invade our homes in the 1970s and 1980s. The unicity of the medium generates a collective consciousness and affective familiarity amongst the artist's generation who grew up watching films on tape. The video's distinctive visual quality attempts to trigger not only nostalgia, but a form of peculiar unease, since the aesthetic procedures induced mimic the short life of a VHS tape, a frail format prone to damage and disintegration.
Confronting the piercing gaze of the women in ‘Tonight' is ‘Disco', in which the artist further explores his fascination with stardom and celebrity, show business and Arabic pop. The footage in ‘Disco' and that in ‘Tonight' are extracted from the same film. However, a tense encounter arises between the presence of the father in ‘Disco' and his absence in ‘Tonight'. Playing with the notion of the fake, the video plunges Yassin's father into a layer of cinematographic fiction. Fabricating a story of abandonment, voyage, longing, and stardom, an on-screen text helps the image to transform his father into Mahmoud Yassin, the famous Egyptian film star. Disco elongates a smooth and musical film scene into one that is uneven and melancholic. And above all, silent.
Raed Yassin was born in Beirut in 1979. He graduated from the theatre department of the Institute of Fine Arts in Beirut in 2003. An artist and musician, Yassin's work often originates from an examination of his personal narratives and their position within a collective history, through the lens of consumer culture and mass production. He has exhibited and performed his work in numerous museums, festivals and venues across Europe, the Middle East, the United States and Japan.
Don't miss the exhbition Raed Yassin "Disco Tonight" in Athens, Greece.
Monday & Saturday: 10.00 - 15.00
Tuesday - Friday: 10.00 - 20.00