If We want to define the identity of the artist Ahmed Canaan, there is no better expression than of saying that, he is the dismantling and installation artist par excellence, it is the Identity concerned of the subject and object itself. For over twenty years of his artistic career, Canaan remains dissembling the identity to re-install it , tapping on the format of the present and past, based what is a political on cultural heritage, combining private with public, starting from the personal point to special-warm to public. This latter awareness- memory and conscience - remain present in the works of Canaans bordering cornerstone in the mosaic composition in the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories, which in turn forms a cornerstone of contemporary Palestinian cultural identity.
To start talking talk about the knight stage in recent works by Canaan, in drawings and statues and structures derived its beauty and value of technical content used and the desired levels, one must first monitor the general line applied by Canaan, which we called installation and dismantling, which aims at the identity and being aimed by the identity at the same time. That identity in the works of Canaan derives its form and content of several issues, public and private, political and cultural, heritage and humanity.
Any boost in Canaans works – starting from that Canaanite, which produced the legendary contemporary works drawn from Palestinian Canaanite heritage, such as Anat, Ashtar, Al-Buraq and Prayers of Rain etc. and passing in the political art of the work derives its meaning and function of the cause of the Palestinian people in general and the issue of Palestinians inside 1948 territories , in particular, ending with the environmental work aimed at interaction with the public and using it, and finally the knight stage, that makes him sleepless during the last three years, reveals a deepening in various productions of those stages.
The issue of identity in content and form in the work of Canaans in its target and the means, is more complicated than trying to draw up plans for a detailed and clear-cut and distances between identities, which are being worked by the artist; Canaan is mixing between identities, integrates self with collective, political with cultural, as if seeking some unit of identityone identity , so installation and dismantling were the Chisel and Brush of the artist sought to complete, and that is the object of art since ancient times.
Therefore, we do not see that Canaan one day had announced the end of a stage completelythe start another, still Canaan returns back to Canaanites in his work, in those that are political,vice versa, as in his (head in the wall) and other works. He also merges what is political in his decorations and arts, where in the view of Canaan, the Islamic Art is a captivating art and rich, open to interminableness in renewing creativity.
We said, the idea of the knight makes him sleepless, and it might be not just the idea of the knight by Canaan, -the reality and the dream,- it is the dream of personal childhood. The Knight was first charted in the imaginations of children and their vigilance dreams, as a Superman, for example, the idea that reaped large amounts of money for the cinema world. The Knight also might be is Saver as a basis for the three religions, at the global, humanitarian and religious levels. But, The Knight, for the Arab Palestinian Canaan, is also and perhaps the first national dream demanded by the Arab peoples, even if has become unauthorized, but still shouting within the self-Arab, even with timidly.
The idea of The Knight – SaverCommander-, as Ahmed Canaan sometimes explains in the titles of some of the paintings that are part of that stage, becoming part of the heritage and not a future demand, where Canaan paints The knight as graphics and decorations, The knight here, is a beautiful painting, tense graphics suspended on the wall to view and enjoy the beauty of the repetition and relationships that created.
Canaan criticizes and mocks, refrains and refuses to incarcerate The Knight in the square of the past and heritage, he emits him again, as a rebellion against the reality on one hand, and against the past dream that he now wants for the future on the other hand, declaring in three works entitled the resurgence, the emission of knight and his release from the past and heritage square, where The Knight leaves in one of those matrix decoration recurring form, occupies the second half of the plate as a clear knight and no one bis.
But the figure here, refers to several signs, all of us are Knights, if we want that, in being united we shape a Knight, as shown in the painting resurgence oil as well. Recalling the movement of the horse and the form and manner in which the foggy drawn by the painting to reduce Knight Revolution within, trying to shape the small Knights trying emission.
Ahmed Canaan repeats here what he has previously done in statues such as a large fish posed by small fish, and the statue of David and Goliath where the shape of the great Palestinian resistant in smaller ones. This brings us back to the idea of installation and dismantling, as a means and an object of Canaan, which talked about at the beginning.
By Canaan, the limits of idea do -mixing between identities- not stop in mixing of self-politician, and political with cultural, the Knight turns in other works to another Knight dreams. The Knight is a masculine subject, actor, Commander,a Knight dream of a girl waiting behind window, where he will take her to the new and more beautiful life, and there she will anticipate her identity as a beloved oneas a mother. In this mix of gender identities with Political, there is an indication of the Knight of dreams of a people of peoples awaiting consideration through the openings of the siege.
Knight in the work Canaan departs from being the dream, the heritage and far past of the beautiful ArabPalestinian dream, this is not just nostalgia for old Arab glory, but Canaan making fun of that idea by the end insurgency, His works graduated from being a beautiful pastheritage, to make it effective, and has a relationship with the future and not with the past, emitted at the moment; in every moment a Knight is being emitted, when the pensile of Canaan proved emission knight.
* Maliha Maslamani, Palestinian writer and researcher, preparing to get her doctorate degree in graphical Palestinian identity in contemporary art: Inside 1948 Territories as a model.