Video Diaries 1
Dec 2 - Jan 7, 2017
Heba Y. Amin, Ziad Antar and Raed Yassin
Video Diaries explores the videos of Heba Y. Amin, Ziad Antar and Raed Yassin that meld personal pasts and absurd realities with elements of popular culture to subtly, or directly, address the political and the banal. A charming, young musical duo, a stork with questionable intentions and a disco-lover determined to reach stardom, all take the lead in this program of fiction and unfortunate facts.
Heba Amin, As Birds Flying, 2016 (video still). Courtesy of the artist and Zilberman Gallery, Berlin.
Heba Y. Amin, As Birds Flying, 2016 - 6 min 43 s
In late 2013, Egyptian authorities detained a migratory stork suspected of espionage due to an electronic device attached to its leg. With reconstructed audio from the iconic Egyptian film "Birds of Darkness" (1995) starring Adel Imam, As Birds Flying confronts the absurdity of the media narrative in Egypt that has turned a bird into a symbol of state paranoia.
Heba Y. Amin is an Egyptian visual artist, researcher and lecturer. She is currently teaching at Bard College Berlin, is a BGSMCS doctorate fellow at Freie Universität, and a recent resident artist at the Bethanien artist residency program in Berlin. Amin has received many grants, including the DAAD grant and the Rhizome Commissions grant. She is the co-founder of the Black Athena Collective, the curator of visual art for the MIZNA journal (US), and curator for the biennial residency program DEFAULT with Random Association (IT). Furthermore, Amin is also one of the artists behind the subversive graffiti action on the set of the television series, Homeland, which received worldwide media attention.
Ziad Antar, Wa, 2004 (video still). Courtesy of the artist.
Ziad Antar, Wa, 2004 - 1 min 58s
In Wa, a boy and a girl sing along to a synthesiser drum beat in flawless harmony. It does not matter if the kids are related to the artist or if he encountered them somewhere by chance, it is about how they perform a role in this setup as children.We cannot know if it is a farce or a documentary, but we immediately become part of the game, developing an affinity and leveling with the protagonists.
Night of Love Trilogy, 2008 3 min
Each video in this ongoing series portrays a virtuoso’s own interpretation of one of Omm Kalthoum’s most celebrated songs Leilet Hob, or A Night of Love. As the video progresses, the underlying reference to the “Star of the East’s” song uncovers with more clarity, bringing the act of playing an instrument closer to the act of a unanimous performance.
Ziad Antar is a video artist and photographer born in 1978 Saida, Lebanon and lives and works between Beirut and Paris. He studied Agricultural Engineering at the American University of Beirut before turning to video and arts with a residency at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2003 and a post-diploma of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 2004. Antar’s work has been exhibited at many international venues including Almine Rech Gallery in London (2017); Beirut Exhibition Center in Lebanon (2016); New Museum in New York (2014); Witte de With in Rotterdam and the Seoul Museum of Art in Korea (both in 2010). In addition, Antar’s work has been acquired by public and private collections including the Centre Georges Pompidou, the British Museum, the Louis Vuitton Foundation and the Aishti Foundation amongst others. Antar is also the co-founder of ‘La Vitrine’, a non-commercial, street-level space in Beirut for site-specific interventions.
Raed Yassin, Disco, 2010 (video still). Courtesy of the artist and Kalfayan Galleries, Athens - Thessaloniki.
Raed Yassin, Disco, 2010 - 5 min 30s
Disco tells the story of the artist’s father, a disco-addict and fashion designer who leaves his family to find work abroad, eventually becoming a star in the Egyptian horror-film industry. The narrative, which quickly transpires into fiction, explores a generation’s fascination with celebrity, forging a story about abandonment, voyage, longing, and stardom.
Raed Yassin was born in 1979 in Beirut where he currently lives and works. He graduated from the Theatre department at the Institute of Fine Arts in Beirut in 2003. An artist and musician, Yassin's work often originates from an examination of his personal narratives and their workings within a collective history, through the lens of consumer culture and mass production. Yassin’s work has been exhibited and performed in numerous museums, festivals and venues including: Nottingham Contemporary, UK; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York); Leighton House Museum-Shubbak Festival (solo show, London), Akademie der Künste der Welt (solo show, Cologne), Kunsthalle Wien (all 2015); Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam); Castrum Peregrini (Amsterdam); Kunsthalle Wien; ICA, London; Gwangju Museum of Art; Castello Di Rivoli, Turin (all 2014); New Museum, New York (2012); Sharjah Biennial; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (both in 2011). Yassin is one of the organizers of IRTIJAL Festival, and 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.