Raed Yassin

Raed Yassin (1979, Beirut) is a Lebanese artist and musician. He graduated from the theater department at the Institute of Fine Arts in Beirut in 2003, and since then has developed his conceptual practice through multiple mediums such as video, sound, photography, text, sculpture, and performance. Yassin’s work often originates from an examination of his personal narratives and their position within a collective history, through the lens of consumer culture and mass production. He was a resident artist at De Ateliers, Amsterdam (2008–2010), the Delfina Foundation, London (2010 & 2014), Akademie der Künste der Welt, Cologne (2015), and is a recipient of the Abraaj Group Art Prize (2012). As a musician, he is also one of the organizers of the Irtijal Festival for Experimental Music (Beirut) and has released several solo music albums. He has also been part of groups such as “A” Trio and PRAED. In 2009, he founded his independent music label, Annihaya. Raed currently lives between Berlin and Beirut.

Humming in Abandoned Places
Video, 2020

Humming is an almost secretive act, one that we perform for ourselves in personal space, consciously or in passing, often without sharing it with others or projecting its sound to the outside world. It’s a device that we use to look inwards, to reflect on memories and feelings we cannot describe or illustrate in words. In essence, humming is nostalgia, innocence and lack of clarity rolled into one medium: the secret sound of uncertainty. In this video, a group of people performs dissonant humming sounds inside long-abandoned locations while standing in random formations. The places they are in are chosen to represent the relentlessness of the passing of time, but also simultaneously predict the dark image of an apocalyptic future. What we are living through in our current moment can only be depicted through acts of doubt; the disconnection between peoples, the forced inwardness of isolation, and the fear of others are phenomena that betray many of our natural instincts as humans and make us retreat from our sense of togetherness in the world.
This series of performances thus acts as a eulogy for this time, in that it displays our deep aloneness in the current moment, but also shows our desire to reconnect with each other again while lacking the proper tools to do so.
This first performance took place in the ruin of Germany’s first lung hospital, which stands as a symbol of breath, life, and the ability to hum.