A Feeling in Perspective : Raed Yassin

14 November - 22 December 2016

Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde is proud to present the work of Lebanese artist Raed Yassin in a solo exhibition entitled A Feeling in Perspective. Yassin's work is centred on producing moments of interaction and reflection through consumer culture and mass media. For this show, the artist reconstitutes his personal stories to highlight the development of pop culture in the Arab world and its effect on the collective memory and unconscious.


The way memory is constructed is as complex as the way an album of images constitutes the portrait of a family. In the series Dancing, Smoking, Kissing (2013), Yassin recreates scenes from lost family photographs based on personal recollection, his family's memory and through his own imagination. Most of the artist's family photographs were lost over time due to frequent moving and displacement, among other ways. These computer-generated illustrations are embroidered on factory-produced silk fabrics - depiction of personal moment rendered on mass-produced, decorative surfaces - to render intimate scenes of sensibility and domesticity.


Also acting as a replacement mechanism of Yassin's family photographs is The Absent Album (2015) - a series of blown- up Polaroid photographs of scenes from Egyptian films - that recreates family settings and memorable moments of the artist's personal life. In the desperate situation during the Lebanese Civil War, Egypt's faltering film industry transformed itself into a factory of images, which the artist used to manufacture and fill-in the gaps of his paperless memories. Here, the Polaroid behaves like the instant medium typical in familial settings, but it also simultaneously contradicts that intimate quality with mass-produced cinematic subjects.


Karaoke (2015) is a video about childhood rivalries and the embarrassment felt by a child in the face of artistic failure. Yassin narrates his story through subtitles but his voice does not exist. Gradually, the narrative transforms from an innocent episode of infancy, to a deeply personal and tragic portrayal of memory, loss, and the towering figure that is the mother.


This feeling translates into the neon works (2016), where the colourful and neon-lit signs are nostalgic on the surface, but evoke a tragic story with words like 'embarrassment' and 'déjà vu' spelled out as a constant reminder. The two words together are almost like a universal human experience, but one that comes with "a sense of embarrassment for exposing yourself, your childhood memories, and your photos," says the artist.