Who Killed the King of Disco, 2010—2011

Raed Yassin
Who Killed the King of Disco, 2010—2011
Installation, video, prints, brochure
Dimensions variable
Detail view
Prints reproduced by Sharjah Art Foundation
Brochure commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation
Image courtesy of the Artist

Overview

Who Killed the King of Disco is a multi-media installation exploring the conflicting facts and context surrounding the artist’s father’s murder. Consisting of a series of blown-up Polaroid stills from 1970s―era Egyptian movies accompanied by a short looping video that tells a fictional story about the famous Egyptian actor Mahmoud Yassin, and commemorated finally by a publication to be made available to the audience at the showing, the project uses public figures and images to examine a highly personal narrative of loss and violence.

The series of 18 stills are selected in such a way to allow them to be shuffled and displayed in whatever sequence seems appropriate at the time. Taken on their own, the images may seem innocuous, but placed in a sequence, they hint at a narrative of betrayal and mystery, suspense and secrecy. The video re-appropriates the famous Egyptian actor Mahmoud Yassin as the artist’s father, explaining his disappearance from the artist’s life as a decision to move to Egypt and become an actor, thus withdrawing from the artist’s private narrative into the larger, public one. The publication, which includes the Polaroid stills as well as stills from the video in their large, displayed format, allows the audience to then take the material home and use those images to create their own narrative, reshuffling the sequence as many times and in whichever way that they please.

Using the medium of Polaroids and his fascination with old Egyptian cinema to explore this highly personal loss is a deliberate decision on the artist’s part to explore notions of nostalgia and memory. The stories are all removed from their origins by layers and re-telling: the stills become Polaroids that are then blown up, the video is a fiction that uses both public and private facts to re-present a new narrative. The result is a multi-tiered account of both historical and personal loss: just as you can never go back to that golden cinematic era, with its images receding into an increasingly re-interpreted past, so too can you never go back to what happened when your father died, or piece together the facts that explain his murder in any concrete, accurate way. What you get instead are a series of moments, of possibilities and interpretations, all as fictional as the medium through which they are told.


April 2011

Book commissioned and prints reproduced by Sharjah Art Foundation

This project was part of Sharjah Biennial 10

Project Images

Who Killed the King of Disco

Raed Yassin
2010—2011

Prints
Dimensions variable
Installation view
Prints reproduced by Sharjah Art Foundation
Photo by Plamen Galabov

View all images
Who Killed the King of Disco Image

Who Killed the King of Disco

Raed Yassin
2010—2011

Installation, video, prints, brochure
Dimensions variable
Installation view
Prints reproduced by Sharjah Art Foundation
Brochure commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation
Photo by Plamen Galabov

Who Killed the King of Disco Image

Who Killed the King of Disco

Raed Yassin
2010—2011

Installation, video, prints, brochure
Dimensions variable
Installation view
Prints reproduced by Sharjah Art Foundation
Brochure commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation
Photo by Plamen Galabov

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Who Killed the King of Disco Image

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Who Killed the King of Disco

Yassin, Raed

Raed Yassin graduated from the theater department in the Lebanese university, Beirut