18 Apr 2024 - 07 Sep 2024

Hell Between My Teeth, Phantom in My Heart, and Never-Ending Hum: Raed Yassin

Beirut Art Center


For the past 20 years Raed Yassin has built his practice on examining his personal narratives and their position within a collective history through the lens of consumer culture and mass production. Hell Between My Teeth, Phantom in My Heart, and Never-Ending Hum is the first seminal exhibition of Yassin in his home country. Featuring fourteen bodies of works created over the course of the past four years, including seven new commissions, the exhibition encompasses a diverse array of media: from film and sound to sculpture, photography and installation. Yassin delves into themes of failure, death, loss, memory, and disappearance, confronting the spectral presence that permeates both the past and the future. He evokes these existential questions through a host of familiar yet haunting figures and symbols, ranging from pop culture icons to representations of the devil, funerary-like imagery, animals, skulls, and found photographs. Among these, the presence of Beirut’s cherished Shushu adds a poignant layer, inviting viewers to contemplate the fragility and complexity of corporeal existence in the face of protracted failure and loss.

The strangeness of the past four years, characterized by heightened levels of wars and violence, anxiety, fear, and instability, have compelled us to confront issues that have simmered and accumulated for de-cades, shaping the challenging material, emotional, and psychological conditions of our lived experiences. Through various works and interventions in the exhibition, Yassin delves into memory and the normalization of violence as fundamental elements in constructing narratives that challenge notions of beginnings and endings, guiding us to rediscover how we remember. In tandem with other works that gnaw at the recurring collapse of time and space, Yassin prompts us to acknowledge the perpetual sense of dissonance that has become all too familiar to many.

With Yassin’s sense of humor and a playful nod to life’s absurdities; the hellhole we inhabit, Hell Between My Teeth, Phantom in My Heart, and Never-Ending Hum raises the question: How do we confront the en-compassing loss and death without slowly fading away into oblivion? How can we continue to inhabit what feels like a fatally dystopian existence—not as mere spectres or ghosts who evade it but by clinging to this recurring out of joint sense, with purpose and intentionality despite death’s pervasive presence and stealth?

Curated by Reem Shadid

Press release from Beirut Art Center

Image: Raed Yassin. The Theatricality of a Postponed Death. 2022-23. Performance, exhibition, text, photography, papier mache masks sculptures, inflatable, video, music, performance. Image courtesy of the artist and Beirut Art Center