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King Of Disco
Archival Inkjet on Archival Fine Art Paper
A gun. A woman. Two people running in the distance.
A phone call. A heated kiss. Hands exchanging money. A mysterious death.
All the trappings of a sensational murder mystery.
In this photographic series, King of Disco, Raed Yassin attempts to reconstruct his personal history by fabricating a storyboard similar to that of a second-rate film.
The real story at hand is that of the unsolved murder of his father during the civil war. The method used to portray it is highly artificial, however. Scenes from outdated Egyptian films, shot as polaroids, are then enlarged to unnatural sizes. These hazy images, which shape much of Yassin’s practice, evoke the aesthetics of the Arabic films he used to watch as a child on a daily basis.
Because the actual events surrounding the murder were unknown, Yassin was forced to imagine them emerging within the narratives of these films, which were engaged in the sensationalizing and dramatization of “truth”. Thus, the real-life tragedy begins to slowly merge with this melodramatic cinematographic world, creating new emotional territories between fiction and reality.
The nostalgia associated with the Polaroid is something most people can genuinely relate to, but because the images depicted are of a virtual nature and the photographs produced are over-sized, a sense of uneasiness is triggered in the viewer, compelling him/her to doubt the accuracy of his/her own memory of these (somewhat) familiar images.
By rewiring the operations of fact and fiction and blurring the threshold between the two, the artist wishes to question what it means to remember history on a personal level, insofar as memory’s distinctive qualities of creating, erasing, and transforming real events are largely dependent on our emotional investment in them.