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No more sugar coating – Youssef Nabil served a helping of societal and political commentary at the 2016 Art Basel earlier this month, in collaboration with Kreëmart. The artist explored the tensions in the Middle East with his video Arabian Happy Ending. A video installation consisting of famous love and lust scenes from Egyptian films were threaded together with a story about intimacy.
Arabian Happy Ending successfully conjured nostalgia of cinematic past with a modern perspective. Nabil captured emblematic scenes of passion that were once unprecedented for Egyptian culture to spark a dialogue about the current state of sexuality. There was a palpable disconnect between the cinematic portrayals from the forties to the nineties within societal constrictions. This disconnect was merely presented by Nabil, just enough to be a catalyst.
The video was complemented by a selection of oriental treats created by Kreëmart. Sugary delights encompassed in edible gold leaf paper and dipped in gold powder symbolized sexualized society. These pieces are known as aphrodisiacs like cardamom, dates, and pistachios. The tangibility of treats tickling tongues full of conversation cleverly embodied Nabil’s message.
In addition to the sweets and video, Kreëmart produced a select number of limited edition plates by Nabil in collaboration with Bernardaud, the premier manufacturer of porcelain in France. These plates are available for purchase on on Artsy and will soon be available on Artspace.