Ziad Haider

The Sense of Paradox
contributed by Sa'ad Hadi

With regard to the drawings of Ziad Haidar, we can refer to two main characteristics, each of which proceeds from the other. The first amounts to the construction with a clear designable procedure and in accordance with an exceptional ability in ordering the components of the illustrative area. The second, on the other hand, is equivalent to the exploitation of the elements of contradiction as well as the hidden and tangible features of difference between the formal structures and indications that he combines in his drawings. The capability of design with which he carries out the drawings and which can be clearly seen in his production of a dramatic scene for his characters as well as in his choice of their masks and symbols, the ceremonies of their actions and the manner of their presentation within the area of the illustrative surface cannot be separated from the sense of paradox. The foregoing sense, ie the second characteristic, constitutes a pivot of his combination and formulation through which he joins sources of two worlds, the first of which is visible and the other is imaginary. The aim is to provide the dramatic scene through his design inclination a justification wherein the plot will keep on. The foregoing plot, in turn, tends to be a succinct detail within a dark comedy that is continually combined, in spite of its outward stability, from various sources: very ancient faces, heads of statues, masked persons, ruins, repeatedly strange creatures and hidden creatures whose traces can hardly been recognized by the eye. These imaginary samples might all come together on a crow table or in a passing scene without any attractive impression for their presence. They move but do not exceed the definite frame which they have been inserted into or observed through its light. They do not either appropriate their external appearances after they get rid of their borrowed costumes just as the actors do. For they neither belong to clear-cut sources of the earth and history nor do they posses faces behind the masks with which they have been supplied. Rather, they amount to formal symbols and indications which the artist assumes as means of showing the memorable events of his memory and the strange combinations of his imagination. As well, they constitute poetical designs for that which he cannot improvise through speech or write by way of the language. They also express a sharp sense of paradox (with its concept that refers to an excitingly thorough examination of contradictions) and a tragic realm which assumes sarcastic situations or deviated cases from their natural sources. Despite their obscurity which is due to the poetic nature of their external characteristics, they form neutral samples that can be observed from several viewpoints just as it is possible to satisfy with their strange, aesthetic structures. They are structures of cultural roots. However, they may sometimes borrow their features from ancient, primitive times after altering the foregoing features in order to be in harmony with the artist's attempt to remold what is imaginary and real as well as create a reciprocal relationship between the violent dramatic sense together with its manifestations and what is taking place at the present time.

As for the place in the drawings of Ziad Haidar, it is characterized by obscurity, having no clear-cut characteristics. It is similar to curtains inside a magical theatre that cover excited details which are to be disclosed gradually with the course and development of the events. Or they may be intentionally concealed owing to their strangeness. Or the other hand, they represent an additional means adopted by the painter in order to increase the poetical depth of his works. For they continually invite us to expect or wish for the happening of a certain event or the appearance of hidden parts that have a crucial role in the plot of the drawings in their visible case. However, when we are able to clear these unnecessary curtains and overlook the hidden worlds over the floor of the magical theatre, their details will still grow, follow one another and reiterate out of a phenomenon.

In this intermixed comedy both of the main and secondary actors join together, the events of the end appear in order to break into the thread of the series of the events and get lost in their crush, while the pictures, faces and shapes are mixed violently, separated and then will be liberated from its real character before the artist's will so that they would be settled in the intensity of their poetical existence and be satisfied with their current state. Thus, everything will return to silence again: they are (only) silent dramatic phenomena, however they symbolize more than that to which they refer and mean more than that which they express. They are obscure, mirror-like and transparent. In addition, they are neutral and able to be a profound echo of our voices. For they sometimes open their mouths alone before us without producing any scream.

As for (the element of) color, it seems an additional factor in the unfamiliar style of the foregoing drawings, their confused nature in addition to its reference to the nature of the characters and their doubtful aspects. Here, the artist assumes the color as a ceremonial element thereby his confirmation of its sharp and excited degrees. As well, he adopts it as a technical means for the sake of treating some of the problems which encounter him during his combination of real forms and some other ones that are similar to the drawings of the primitive man or the children. However, color does not treat but a small part of what encounters the artist. His skill, patience and fondness of design remain his principal keys for the confrontation of the sharp contradiction between the forms as well as the agreement between their characteristics and particularities which have no prior symmetry.

And last but not the least, in his diligent attempts to solve the problems of his work, Mr Haidar does not provide us, as spectators, with ready answers. Rather, he leaves us within the intensity of the poetical material and its sharpness and impels us to find out particular and unhurried, yet indecisive, answers.

© 2007 ziadhaider.net