Yassine Mekhnache

About Artist: Born in 1979 in Lyon. Lives and works in Paris. « Seven years ago, Yassine Mekhnache came across the path opened in the twelfth century by the poet Farid Attar, which generations of men concerned with self-fulfillment have traveled; a path to the inner divine, caught in the eye of others; a path of selflessness and love whose infinite awareness escapes the filter of pure reason; a path of rejection of earthly vanities which the thirty birds of Attar perilously traveled to join their king Simorgh. A real fresco in the making, Yassine Mekhnache’s pictorial research around Farid al-Din Attar’s ‘Conference of the Birds’, an emblematic story of the Sufi wisdom, is a variation on the theme but in no way replaces it or is constrained by it, on the contrary. The painter's gesture, fueled by its own means, extends the writing of the poet through the experience of the universal language introduced by Attar; because The Conference of the Birds is the journey of the soul, both braced against and embracing the other’s self to form the divine sum. This bond of love between men as a recurrent thread leading to divine unity, between the One and the Many, is summarized in two syllables, Si and Morgh: taken literally, Si-Morgh means, in Persian, thirty birds, whereas a linguistic subtlety, removing the hyphen, turns thirty birds into a fabulous creature, Simorgh, king of the birds and allegory of divine abstraction. The vision of the ongoing project builds on this intuition of matrix unity woven from a multiple humanity: a composition of thirty monumental canvases, each a powerful expression of the discourse of the whole of which they are part, materializing in pictorial terms the metaphor of human communion. Over thirty years of unbridled pursuit to a ghostly and multifaceted face, around which the artist's approach is built, the last seven were closely accompanied by Attar’s story, so closely that the ascendance of the poet on the painter gave the measure of time, space and the means of expression required to redefine its scope; the final imprint of trips to the Orient, performed so often that voyages there and back have interfered with each other to the point where they blend into one; brushes were dropped in favor of inks, to open then close interpretations of his own matrices embroidered by others,  whose needle and thread pierce then heal veins and shadows, on the other side of the world. The continuum between the primitive impact, which the artist projects onto each canvas as if a spell were cast, and the minutia of the ligatures that embroiderers entwine on each canvas as if they were gazing on onto the Unknown contained in the self, polarized and therefore reverses the incessant shuttling of scale between Chaos and Cosmos, Speed and Slow Motion, Abstraction and Figuration, Near and Far, Self and Other. These degrees of time, space and cultures, accrued on each canvas of the sum, serve to measure their common spectrum, that face, the impending absence of which is now composed of the anonymous and multiple power of a human chain that each observation of the canvas transcends. » Celia DECALONNE

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