Born in 1970 in Grasse (France)
Lives and works in Paris (France)
Inspired by her surroundings, Yassef takes childlike pleasure in uncovering the strange beauty of the world that surrounds us. Her Scenario Fantôme document fragments of this world. Consisting of tiny photographs that are often mounted together, their very name reveals the ethereal and magical quality of these works. Yassef moves through the urban landscape like a ghost randomly stealing “moments” with her lens. Each of these minimal and yet highly eloquent images captures a part of an unfolding story. This sense of anticipation and excitement is also present in her work Passe-Apache, a hyper-realist rock that is surprisingly light being made of resin and which can be pushed open to reveal a hidden passage way. Yassef’s conception of reality always leans towards the ctional. Indeed her desire to transform reality underlies much of her work. As Yassef declares “it is important to slow life down; or to speed it up. In any case to give it another quality.” In her videos simple gestures take on a burlesque appearance and banal street-scenes become poetical. In creating these dream worlds, Yassef challenges us to be more observant. Yassef’s work often derives out of everyday objects, which she distorts in a playful, yet ironic manner thereby shifting perceptions and confronting preconceived expectations. This is particularly evident in the sculpture Billy Montana – a combination of Ikea’s best selling shelving unit – Billy, and a brand of spray paint-Montana, both of which lose their original meaning. By using all 58 shelves available in the at-pack, the unit is rendered unusable. The paint, a symbol of rebellion (once the preserve of taggers and graf ti artists), becomes a tool in industrialisation and standardisation. Visually attractive, the absurdity of the useless shelves is not only amusing but also provocative. Yassef, with oddball humour, displays yet again her fascination with the absurd and incongruous.