Mohamad Kanaan

Eye, Sea and Dance (Object 5)


Steel, concrete and marble

30 x 30 x 170 cm

Inspired by the layered history of Deir El Kalaa, Mohamad Kanaan has crafted a series of seven mobile, interlocking sculptures which draw from Islamic, Roman and Phoenician mythologies and explore themes around syntax and love. The works, and the spatial relationships between them, are intended to reference stories of ancient gods who were worshipped at Deir El Kalaa: Juno, Poseidon, Baal Marcod, and Aeolus. The centrality and power of nature in mythology is echoed by the landscape of the exhibition’s outdoor setting, with which the works interact. The pieces bear resemblance to both architectural and bodily forms and are inspired by poetry, romance, and tragedy. With talismanic qualities, they are influenced by the principles of sympathetic magic, the law of similarity and the law of contagion.


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About the Artist

Mohamad Kanaan (b. 1989) is an artist living and working in Beirut. He holds an MFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago and BA in Architecture from the American University of Beirut where he currently teaches. His practice is steered by research-led explorations into religion, sexuality, and spirituality. What is it like to be a body that is often situated on the periphery of two realities? This question is the starting point of Kanaan’s practice, with each work acting as a piece of evidence in the ongoing investigation, oscillating between opposing spheres: the physical and digital, the personal and political, the micro and macro. Kanaan was a resident at Gapado Artist Residency in South Korea (2019); Casa Wabi in Mexico (2017); and Beirut Artist Residency, Lebanon (2017). His work has been exhibited in China, the Netherlands, Mexico, South Korea, Lebanon, and the US.

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