In 2012, Ziad Antar went on a photographic journey capturing landmarks of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, including the monumental sculptures on the corniche of the Red Sea City. The former mayor of Jeddah, Dr. Mohammed Said Farsi initiated the public sculpture park by adding commissioned large-scale sculptures by the likes of Joan Miró, Henry Moore, César Baldaccini, Aref Al Rayes and others prominent artists; the sites thus became iconic landmarks throughout the city.
As part of a major renovation project of the entire corniche, all the sculptures underwent an exhaustive restoration venture. Whilst some of these sculptures were removed, others remained on site. The sculptures left behind were completely covered and protected from the construction work around them. Antar observed the new shapes these sculptures had become up-close, wrapped in both cloth and rope and still standing on their respective pedestals; expressing the immense change that the city was going through.
Antar decided to document the transformation of the city and its sculptures. First he captured the sculptures on film by using a plastic camera and a plastic lens; constantly exploring the effects of light on his shots. Most importantly, Antar also recreated a selection of the sculptures in concrete, by replicating them exactly in the same state and shape that he found them during the renovation phase of the corniche. The Derivable Sculptures make a poignant comment on the role of sculpture in the public realm and the transformation of our cities.
‘The sculptures reflect the change or transformation of the city. Twenty years after they were erected, the 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.’ Ziad Antar
Ziad Antar is a Lebanese artist born in 1978 who currently lives and works in both Saida and Paris. Antar’s work is held in a number of international institutions including the Centre Georges Pompidou and the FNAC Centre (Fonds National d’Art Contemporain) in Paris, France and the British Museum in London, U.K. His work has been shown worldwide in locations such as the Palais de Tokyo and La Triennal de Paris in France; the Sharjah Art Foundation in the U.A.E. as well as the New Museum in New York, U.S.A.