• It will not be an easy matter.
  • My father's opinion was always that hot weather encourages degenerate behavior.
  • The Flag Series
  • Untitled II
  • Untitled IV

Ayman Yossri Daydban is of Palestinian origin and currently lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. His work has been included in the Venice Biennale in 2009 and 2011 and is in the permanent collection of the Green Box Museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Subtitles Series

In his Subtitles series, Ayman Yossri depicts still photos of non-Arabic language films subtitled in Arabic. A Jordanian national of Palestinian origin living in Saudi Arabia, Yossri is no stranger to alienation and deals with themes of identity and the notion of being an outsider. By using stills subtitled in Arabic, the artist reverses the insider/outsider roles, as only the Arabic speaker is able to understand the text. However, the ability to read the words does not necessarily translate to being privy to their meaning. The viewer must accept the translation presented by the text, leaving both Arabic- and non-Arabic-speakers to reinterpret the significance of the words and phrases.

The monochrome stills at times carry the authenticity and authority of a documentary, while at other times are reminiscent of pop art in their depiction of stars in Western culture. New meaning is given to the words that would have been spoken, as the subtitles play the dual role of scribe and silent narrator.

The Flag Series

Palestinian by origin, Jordanian by nationality and a resident of Saudi Arabia, simple labels do not apply to Ayman Yossri. He folds his materials into the shape of the Palestinian flag, with its recognizable triangle. The deliberately unfinished execution is touchingly fragile, produced without the precision of welding, but rather using his body to create folds and creases. 

The ubiquitous nature of his materials drives their selection; the metal sheets are used in a myriad of industries. Evidence of contemporary consumer culture is similarly ever-present, ironically traveling across national borders with ease, unlike its consumers.

Although earlier works carry the colors of the Palestinian flag, Daydban’s latest metal incarnations are subtler and the implication of the flag suffices in evoking the original. It is impossible to view the works closely without seeing oneself, distorted, in the metal, evoking Freudian constructs of the self and the other.

The most recognizable flag is folded, enlarged to a size eerily close to that of the human form, conjuring images of shrouds, while the unfolded flags express openness and a rejection of imposed stereotypes. He continues his deconstruction, enlarging distinct creases to create new works, as though examining them under a microscope - drawing on his background as a microbiologist. Ayman Yossri Daydban molds the flag - the symbol which unifies us and tears us apart - into a celebration of the nuances of our persona.