Once again Amjad Ghannam proposes his art works and painting overloaded by captivity, prevention and detention. So, what are the odds this time? Is the artist going to take us there to live the reality and the cruelty of a confiscated and violated life, or is he going to bring us this human experience, as he is haunted by that thought, on his canvas in various formats?
The idea of human crisis in jail, or the jail inside of the human being, as if Amjad did not quite come out of his experience of detention lived in Israeli jails. The work illustrates that Amjad is still haunted by the suffering of his fellow political detainees and their frustrated hopes and dreams.
The source of inspiration in this experiment is not the prison in the abstract sense of life, a reality that is associated with political conflicts and revolutions in our
East Mediterranean region, but the human being is the subject of this continuing suffering, the oppressed man and his confiscated freedom to live in dignity.
Amjad spreads the relatively faint colors on board space, striving to put those marks, lines and blocks that evoke the presence of the violated being of the human body from head to toe, as we see it without being seen by it, engaged in a struggle inside the frame and in that space of grades of grey in careful harmony. It testifies and registers the plight in jail and the subject of captivity and adjacent prisons, which is in growth instead of decay and disappearance. It is as if the paintings invite us to extend our hands to remove the head cover off the faces and the blindfolded eyes to see or perhaps to feel for the cover or mist on our faces.
In this exhibition the artist takes us also to the lesson Ras Roos « Head and
Heads », a famous lesson in the early reading books of Khalil Sakakini, to use this lesson here as a new visual equivalent looking at the real meaning of the reading suggested by life here and now and the presence of the head not as an illustration in the lesson but as a covered blindfolded one.
The presence of the body as a subject of repression and oppression; heads and statures that are trying to rebel sometimes, and sometimes looking with irony at their chains while rebelling. The head bag and darkness do not look like elements that were introduced on the characters in the painting only, but also on the painting itself.
These objects do not look like an act of dissonance on the head only, but on the canvas of the painting itself too, which mostly are from the same raw material.
Amjad wants us to approach this sensory experience without being involved in wailing and complaining and without raising slogans. Thus, the artist leaves us alone and on our own in a time of rocking crisis that put every man’s life at stake and not only his\her freedom, at stake from occupation, tyranny, oppression, ignorance and terrorism.
These are really beautiful paintings that demonstrate the artist
s skills and ability in the construction, planning, drawing and coloring. He cleverly gives them an aura of captivating magic and mystery that make them art works of love and human compassion, not by any prisons timing, but by Ramallah and Jerusalem ambiguous timing.