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Yassin Haute Couture by Raed Yassin

Marfa' is pleased to announce the opening of Yassin Haute Couture, an exhibition by Raed Yassin on January 17, starting 6 pm.

In this multimedia exhibition, Raed Yassin immerses viewers in a plethora of images, sounds, lights, forms, memoirs culled from pop culture, where he laces facts, histories with fiction to invoke a romanticized representation of the past and simultaneously conceal deep personal wounds. The artist has been tailoring the ideas behind this particular oeuvre for almost a decade, with the project taking several twists and turns before finally reaching fruition. Most of the works in this exhibition are thus showing for the first time at Marfa’ Gallery, as part of an ever-expanding opus.

For several years, the artist attempted to paint a complete portrait of his deceased father, Samir Yassin, using fiction, forgery, lies and rumors, as elements integral to his practice. The works in this exhibition focus specifically on the period when his father was working as a fashion designer in Beirut and abroad, garnering fame and international acclaim. In-part archive, fiction, and in-part recreated objects and materials, the works draw us into the designer’s thought process, those who wore his creations, the unseen realms of his imagination, and the annals of memory attached to the fabric of fashion itself. The artist connects threads of several stories by digging up a past that doesn’t want to be uncovered, one that is constantly eluding him, obscured by ghosts that inhibit him from seeing it clearly. As if to reveal a treasure lying at the bottom of the pit, the artist tries to discern secrets that his father carried with him to the grave, assuming the role of undertaker and of voyeur. In his theoretical treatise, Archive as Burden, he disregards the casualness of visual information within archival documents, to rather plumb what lies behind veiled truths.

Using fragments of rumors collected from long lost relatives, the artist begins to build a dramaturgy of obsessions that mirror his own, as if inherited from father to son. Stories of Erotica, intrigue, and deceit converge dramatically in a text that recounts the life and times of Samir Yassin, the great designer.

Raed Yassin (born 1979, Beirut) lives and works in Beirut. He graduated from the Theatre Department of the Institute of Fine Arts in Beirut in 2003, and in 2015 he was awarded a research fellowship at the Akademie der Künste der Welt in Cologne. 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. One of the organisers of Irtijal Festival - Beirut's experimental contemporary music festival - Yassin has released several music albums and founded the production company Annihaya in 2009. He is also a founding member of Atfal Ahdath, a Beirut-based art collective.

He has exhibited and performed in numerous museums, festivals and venues, including Notingham contemporary (2017), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2016), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2014), Kunsthalle Wien (2015), ICA London (2014), Gwangju Museum of Art (2014), Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2014), Kalfayan Galleries, Athens (2011, 2014 & 2017), Boghossian Foundation - Villa Empain, Brussels (2013), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012), New Museum, New York (2012), Sharjah Biennial 9 & 10 (2009 & 2011), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2011), and Delfina Foundation, London (residency 2014 & 2010 - 2011). Yassin is also a recipient of the Sharjah Art Foundation Project Fund (2014), Abraaj Group Art Prize (2012), Fidus Prize (2009), AFAC grant for production (2010), YATF grant for production (2008 & 2012) and the Cultural Resource grant for production (2008).

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