Horror is Universal


2009
Video and Music Performance
40 Minutes

For the last years, Raed Yassin has been undergoing a lifetime project of deconstructing Arab popular culture, by sampling audio and visual material from TV, radio, pop songs and feature films. This work titled "Horror is Universal" ( The End) is considered a milestone in his evolving oeuvre: a multimedia saga performed live by the artist, it involves mixing and rearranging video extracts from dozens of 80s Egyptian B-movies on screen, while spinning vintage LPs of popular Arabic music, electronics, and even singing on the microphone to create a unique yet disturbing soundtrack progressing towards a chilling finale. It is in essence an attempt at fabricating a non-existent genre in 20th century Egyptian cinema, horror, by splicing together the viewers' collective memory of those all too familiar 'scary moments' reenacted by the cheap cinematic production of yesteryear. Although the piece is pre-assembled, it requires Yassin's presence and energy for the multiple layers of information to blend in and interact, as he twists every sample into something other-worldly, giving it a new life of its own.
With this piece, Raed Yassin sets a very high standard for all those interested in the the “plunder” approach to all the mass medias that have shaped the hearts and minds of Arab youth today.

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Documentation photo of the performance
Photo By Tanya Traboulsi

Documentation photo of the performance
Photo By Tanya Traboulsi

Documentation photo of the performance
Photo By Tanya Traboulsi

Documentation photo of the performance
Photo By Tanya Traboulsi

Documentation photo of the performance
Photo By Tanya Traboulsi