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7 Porcelain Vases
series of seven porcelain vases Lebanon has long struggled to come to terms with the aftermath of its civil war (1975-1990). Even if the fighting stopped more than two decades ago, sectarian tensions are still very much present in the country’s demographic and political make-up. Violence has for the most part ceased, yet to this date no culprits of the atrocities have been held accountable for their actions. An uneasy amnesia, and absence of historical narrative reigns in Lebanon in order to keep a brittle peace. In an attempt to formulate the cycle of this unaccounted history, Raed Yassin has chosen an unorthodox and innovative way of attempting to represent – ‘frieze’ as it were - important historical events of Lebanese contemporary history. His work struggles with the impossibility of reading things of the past in a comprehensive way. In China he shows seven Chinese porcelain vases, produced at Jingdezhen – China’s capital of porcelain. Depicting key battles of the Lebanese civil war, amongst others the War of the Hotels (1975-1976), the Battle for Tal al-Zaatar (1976), the Israeli invasion of Beirut (1982) and the so-called War of Liberation (1989). These vases are part-beautiful object, part-historical document, and part-mass-produced product. They echo the ancient tradition of recording victories at battle on vases and ceramics for the sake of posterity, as well as a domestic decorative readymade that can easily be found in any Lebanese home. Yassin decided to detail battles that were instrumental for territorial, demographic and political shifts, and whose ramifications are still tangible today. The circularity of the vases hint at an impossibility of closure – there is no beginning and no end when we view the vases, reflecting the unresolved situation in present-day Lebanon.
War Of The Hotels