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Youssef Nabil (Egyptian, b.1972)
LOT ID: 63988
You Never Left III, 2010

Silver Print, Hand colored gelatin silver print
19.7 х 29.5 х 39.25 in. (50.04 x 74.93 x 99.7 cm.)
Signed, and numbered.
Edition 5
Lot description
Youssef Nabil. (Egyptian B. 1972). "YOU NEVER LEFT #III". 2010.
Hand colored gelatin silver print. This is edition 5 of 5.
Dimensions Unframed: 19 3/4 x 29 1/2 inches (50cm x 75 cm).
Dimension framed: 29 1/2 x 39 1/4 inches (75cm x 100 cm).

"You Never Left # III" is one the most important photographs just exhibited at the first Paris solo exhibition by Egyptian artist Youssef Nabil at Galerie Nathalie Obadia titled "You Never Left". This image and the entire series imitates cinematic stills that feature various scenes between present-day famous actors, Fanny Ardant and Tahar Rahim. The actual location is never divulged, it is the “other place” that is a metaphor of a lost Egypt.

"You Never Left #III" represents a major turning point in the career of the artist whose entire body of work has been inspired by cinema. In this piece Youssef Nabil reverently and inventively revisits the aesthetic characteristics of Egyptian cinema’s golden age – the stars, Technicolor, the type of film stock – that inspired his own calling as an artist. Around this very fine piece of film, the exhibition also features a new series of photographs.

Displaying all the colourist talent of Nabil’s photographic work, "You Never Left #III" is rich in allusion and mystery, deriving great power from the tension derived from the physical distance, theme and emotional intenstity of this hyper-realist faux-cintematic moment. This image, as well as all from the "You Never Left Series" explore the innate human desire for other places and nostalgia for what has been known.

Youssef Nabil's most important and powerful images are those life "You Never Left #III" where we witness a reality that reflects both the paradoxes of present-day Middle East and the Oriental fantasies and decadence that once associates with the golden-age Egyptian movie stars in the cosmopolitan pre-revolutionary years. Here Nabil employs two modern actors, both famous celebrities to not only act out a scene, "Take #3" in fact, but to act it out as if they were actors from another era.

Nabil’s work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions at venues including the British Museum, London, the Villa Medici in Rome, the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle, the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville, Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Centre de Cultura Contemporánea in Barcelona and the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. Two monographs have been published on his art: Sleep in My Arms (Autograph ABP and Michael Stevenson, 2007) and I Won’t Let You Die (Hatje Cantz, 2008).
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