Riverside Walk Gardens
60 Millbank, London SW1P 4R
Selma Feriani Gallery & Almine Rech Gallery
In collaboration with Shubbak
& Westminster Council
Ziad Antar was born in 1978 in Saida, Lebanon and currently lives and works in Beirut. In 2012, Antar went on a photographic journey, capturing landmark parts of Jeddah, including the monumental sculptures on the corniche of the Red Sea city. The former mayor of Jeddah, Dr. Mohammed Said Farsi, who initiated the public sculpture park including commissioned large-scale sculptures by the likes of Joan Miró, Henry Moore, César Baldaccini, Aref Al Rayes and more, which have become iconic parts of the city, and are garnering attentiveness recently.
In 2012, part of a major renovation project of the entire corniche of Jeddah, these sculptures underwent an exhaustive restoration venture, some were removed, while others remained on the site, but completely covered and protected from the construction work around them. Antar observed the new forms these sculptures have become up-close, covered in cloth and wrapped in rope while in their place on large plinths, expressing the immense change the city is going through.
Documenting the transformation of these sculptures and the city, Antar used a plastic camera with a plastic lens, while at the same time exploring the affects of light on his film. “What interested me in recreating the form of these covered sculptures is the act of repetition or recreating itself, the relationship between public art and the spaces they occupy and transformation. The inevitable question is ‘where is reality?’” the artist said.
Accompanying the photographs, Antar recreated some of the sculptures in concrete, in the state they were during the renovation phase of the corniche. “The sculptures reflect the change, or transformation of this city. Twenty years after they were erected, the entire city is also living through the same transformation. As an artist, I transformed these sculptures into new artworks, and this transformation is what I am fascinated in,” Antar said. An 8mm black and white film was also created, completing the project by exploring the city’s landscape and its current state of change.