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WHAT IS THE ROLE OF PUBLIC ART IN JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA?

 

 

Introduction

            According to Merriman and Merriman (2005), artists hold the power to influence social change through their works. To explain this point, the authors pointed out the example of Kathe Kollwitz, an artist commissioned by the family of the assassinated German leader Karl Liebknecht in 1919 to make an artistic work memorializing the leader and his advocacy for social reform. Kollwitz made a series of woodcuts and lithographs that expressed the plight of Germany during that time such as poverty, starvation, labour strikes, and unemployment. These works of art were publicly made to call for the people to participate in social change. Kollowitz sought to bring about social reforms by utilizing her artworks to inform the people about the plight of Germany, criticize the existing political system, and unite the people towards change.

            In this sense, art becomes a tool for propaganda or advocacy. Propaganda connotes engagement in radical political activities but in a technical sense, this word means the proliferation of information about a particular cause. A cause could be anything that is of interest to the public. (Merriman and Merriman, 2005) This means that art could influence various forms of social change depending on the manner that the intended audience or viewers process and react to the message expressed by a particular work of art, the medium of artistic expression, the reputation of the artist, and the context of art presentation to the public. The stronger impact that art has on people, the greater would be the change in perspective or behaviour that concurrently occurs.       

            Social change is a broad term with various definitions depending upon its areas of coverage. In terms of the scale of change, social change is a widespread change that occurs with the collective direction of individuals towards change. This means that social change happens as a large-scale phenomenon brought about by the influence of a particular stimulus that draws common perceptions translated into behavior from many people. Stimulus could be anything from the rise or death of an influential person, an economic tragedy, or even persuasive and meaningful works of art. (Giddens and Duneier, 2000) Change on a larger scale finds influence catalyzed by a stimulus when this is accessible to the public, such as public art.

            With regard to the parties involved in the change, the government, advocate groups within the private sector, or a partnership of both, could introduce the stimulus to social change. Normally, the government acts as a catalyst for social change by creating and enforcing rules and regulations covering all members of the community. However, the government could also cause change by non-regulatory means through the commissioning of visual stimulants for public viewing intended to provide a pleasing and peaceful environment for its citizens. The private sector usually cause change through advocacies to government agencies by raising their concerns to the public in paper or through protest rallies. However, the private sector could also stimulate change through the public exhibition of various forms of art intended to inform the public of various issues. Public-private partnership in creating social change through public art could happen with the government allowing local and foreign artists to strategically place their work in public places to serve specific purposes.

            Public art also constitutes a broad term that involves various perspectives. On one hand, public art may be perceived as the generic term referring to all forms of artistic expression accessible to the public that involves works located in museums or libraries open to the public or works displayed outdoors in buildings or parks. On the other hand, public art could also be viewed in the legal sense as the art works constituting public domain by virtue of government ownership so that public art refer only to works commissioned by the government (Mitchell, 2002). For purposes of this research paper, public art could be defined as all artistic expressions strategically located in public places and serving the purposes for which the government has provided permission for public viewing or access.  

            Public art constitutes a valuable non-restrictive tool for influencing action or behavior by drawing cognitive processes in people resulting to changes in their action or behavior. This means that when people view public art, the experience draws opinions and emotions that in turn motivate their behavior. An opinion or emotion leaning towards the appreciation of the value of a public art could lead to the action of supporting a cause for the preservation of that piece of art. Other opinions or emotions over that piece of art could also draw various behaviors such as cultural tolerance or decreased propensity to commit crimes. Since art is a universal tool, this means that countries can benefit from the nature and extent of social change brought about by public art. However, not all countries freely allow the proliferation of public art. In Saudi Arabia, public art is highly regulated due to the religious tradition of the country with the exception of Jeddah that hosts many art works in various public places.

            Jeddah is a city in Saudi Arabia with various forms of public art located in strategic public place across the metropolis. Contrary to the rest of the Saudi Arabia, public censure for publicly viewed art is relaxed in this port city. Due to the unique characteristics of Jeddah as the meeting point between the Islamic tradition and foreign religious and cultural traditions, studying the role of public art to social change becomes an interesting exercise.  

Objectives

            The research will discuss the unique topology of public art in Jeddah by investigating how this became a tool in beautifying the city space, what are the political, aesthetic and accidental processes that drove its incorporation into the urban architecture, and how public art has influenced the people of Jeddah. The study will approach this exercise by commencing with the general conceptualization and linking of the variables involved in the study and then locating the concepts and variable relationships in the specific context of public art in Jeddah. Nature and extent of change will be studied based on five aspects of social change, which are economic, political, environmental, socio-cultural and religious.

            To provide in-depth answers to the research topic, this research proceeds through the guidance of the following questions:

  • What are the major aesthetic discourses on public art in Jeddah?
  • How have these discourses been influenced by society, politics and religion?
  • Importantly, how are the social and political discourses (hidden or apparent) of Saudi Arabia reflected in the Saudi consumption of modern works of public art?
  • How or why did Jeddah overcome traditional Sunni / Wahhabi restraints on artistic expression and present a new form of art developed from within an Islamic consciousness?
  • What socio-cultural and socio-political topographies may be developing in Saudi Arabia in 2007?
  • What is the nature of the relationship between traditional Islamic art (Talbot Rice, 1975) and modern public art? Are they consumed very differently? Are there tensions or elisions between the two?
  • How do people in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia perceive public art in terms of the effect on their personal Islamic faith and lifestyle?

 

Significance

            Conducting this research offers both academic and social value. Since the proliferation of public art in Jeddah constitutes a unique situation in Saudi Arabia but the underlying reasons for this unique situation studied sparsely by social theorists, the research seeks to contribute to this information gap by conducting a study on the reasons for the proliferation of public art in Jeddah amidst the strict regulation of public art in the rest of Saudi Arabia as well as determine the effect that public art has in influencing various forms of social change in Jeddah. The results of the study could confirm theories on the relationship between public art and social change, challenge how this relationship has been theorized, or contribute to the contextual consideration of this relational theorizing. 

            The research also offers value to individuals living in Jeddah since there is limited information on public art, the purposes that various public art play in society, and the role that the government, groups and individuals hold in achieving these purposes. Greater appreciation of public art increases the probability of achieving the goal of installing these works in particular public places. Results of the study constitutes an informative advocacy for people in Jeddah to develop greater consciousness of public art to become active participants in enhancing and criticizing public art in Jeddah in order to achieve positive social change.

Literature Review

            Available literature closely linked to the research topic includes theoretical discussion on the link between public art and social change, background on public art in Jeddah, and results of studies on public art in Jeddah.

Public Art and Social Change

            Public art has a direct and close relationship with social change because of the ability of art works, publicly displayed, to elicit cognitive processes expressed in actions, reactions and behaviours. However, the nature of actions, reactions and behaviours that public art is able to draw depends upon the characteristics of particular art works and the specific context in which the public views these works of art. This means that a similar artwork could draw different reactions, when seen by different cultures and displayed in varying circumstances. Nude sculptures could constitute a common sight in Italy but these works are taboo in different parts of the worlds such as in Arab countries. In this sense, social change also varies. In Italy, nude sculptures showing the male and female reproductive organs represent freedom of expression in this romantic country so that these sights receive high appreciation and considered as representative of the values of society. These artistic expressions positively change the people in Italy. In Arab countries, these types of art works would be perceived negatively due to their divergence from the Islamic tradition. This means that these works influence negative change through adverse reactions and behaviour of the people from protesting these publicly displayed nude art works to destroying these works. Thus, the contextual reading of the role of public art in influencing social change is important to sound research.

"Public art makes public buildings and services friendlier and, as a result, promotes social inclusion. It also creates local individuality and fosters people's attachments to places, providing aesthetic enjoyment and improving our culture […] Public art promotes more visitors and tourists and makes an important contribution to the lives of the people who work or live in a town and to the lives of those who visit, reducing the motivation for crime and other anti-social behaviour." (Douglas Development Partnership, 2007)

 

            This definition indicates that public art has an influence on social change and provides the means through which social change finds influence from public art.  Public art leads to social change by enhancing the social behavior of individuals that in turn improves society.

   Douglas Development Partnership (2007) provides that public art influence social change on a personal and group level. On a personal level, public art influences individuals by providing a stimulus for enhanced accrual of higher value to culture objectified by public art. In the case of building facades and architecture, these types of public art creates a friendly atmosphere for employees working in these buildings or people passing by and entering the building. Due to the creation of a friendly atmosphere, social change occurs in the form of social inclusion with individuals perceiving the building as inviting or welcoming. In addition, public art also holds the ability to support individuality and create personal attachments to places and environments. Due to the personal impact of public art, individuals accrue a higher value for culture objectified by public art. On a group level, public art constitutes an invitation to tourists and visitors to visit the country. This in turn creates businesses and employment. With this economic, contribution, more people gain livelihood or source of income that in turn reduces anti-social behavior or crimes.       

           

"It is the future that drives us back into the past." (Arendt, 2003: 11) This statement provides a different perception of the relationship between public art and social change. Public art usually constitutes pieces of historical artifacts. This means that public art objectifies the history of a particular group so that viewing public art creates in individuals a feeling of appreciation, patriotism or loyalty to the group. To people not belonging to the group, public art develops an appreciation of the group. Public art promotes social change in the form of greater social cohesiveness such as patriotism or loyalty to social structures and norms established by group and expressed in public art.

Background of Public Art in Jeddah

            Art in general, and public art in particular, are among ideologically restrained practices in Saudi Arabia due to the dominance of the misinterpretations of Islam by the Saudi religious leaders (Mutawa/Sheikh) in both the public and domestic realms. Restraints on media – there are no cinemas in the Kingdom – have tended either to prevent complex aesthetic expression or to privatise it. Restraints place severe limitations on the themes of that public art which is displayed – mostly localised in the coastal city of Jeddah. There displays of public art started in the late seventies and have passed through various stages partly because of religious and political factors. The artistic debates common elsewhere are, mostly, irrelevant in this context.

            The teachings of the Prophet Mohammed suggest that there are certain unacceptable areas of artistic expression, such as reproductions of human beings or other living souls (animals) when this has an iconic religious meaning. However, the exact interpretation of the relevant Koranic verses may vary from one tradition to another. In Saudi Arabia, where Wahhabite interpretation of a Sunni theology is dominant statues, paintings or illustrations may be prone to censure. This means that in Saudi Arabia, public art undergoes government and religious regulation.

            Al Dakheel (2007) provides that fine art constitutes a taboo practice based on Islamic censure implemented by religious leaders and police on people practicing arts. This censure is supported by the justification that "artistic practice is frivolous and allows freedoms of expression that, in their view, could lead to social changes against Islamic tradition and beyond its control". In practice, these groups stick to the traditional lifestyle and shuns away from anything new to what they previously know or experience.

            However, even if this is the case in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah constitutes an exception because of the relaxed regulation of public art in the city. This is due to the unique historical development of the city as a repository of various Islamic and cultural traditions.

            Jeddah dates back 3000 years and was founded by group of fishermen that resided there after their fishing journeys. A tribe called Qudha settled there 2500 years ago and it is believed that it was named after a leader called Jeddah, a ninth great-grandfather of the Prophet Mohamed. After the emergence of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula the history of Jeddah was strongly connected with the development of Islamic History because it was the gate to Makkah from the sea. The importance of Jeddah has increased substantially over the past fifty years and now it is the most important Saudi port, an urban community, which is uniquely and to some point free of Saudi political and religious restraints. In the past two decades, Jeddah has grown tremendously: economic projects, public and private building, and links with international markets mean that, currently, Jeddah is a major regional commercial centre.

            The climate in Jeddah is hot and extremely humid in summer, with an average annual temperature of 39º Celsius – a variable, which directly affects the wellbeing of public art installations. The population approximately three million, around 14% of the total Saudi population; of these more than a third will be expatriate workers.

            Apart from the development of Jeddah as a major trading city in the region and its climate conducive to the preservation of outdoor art works, there are also other considerations such as the availability of public funds and influence of the city's elite. Available financial resources – and the local political will from within the elite – as well as a perceived need to embellish and dignify public spaces, as well as to designate certain spaces as "public", means Jeddah has received a large number of sculpted, cast or assembled works of public art (see Appendix).   

            Public art in Jeddah is typically situated close to roads, in parks, on traffic roundabouts. In fact, abstract figures are notably located on roundabouts, and give the roundabout of specific names: Astronomy Roundabout, the Roundabout of Bicycles, the Roundabout of the Earth, the Roundabout of History, the Roundabout of Engineering, and the Roundabout of Seagulls. Art, in this sense, adds locational power and may make Jeddah one of the largest global open-air art galleries. Sculptures include works by Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Joan Miró and Victor Vasarely; they also depict symbolic elements of traditional Saudi culture, including coffee pots, incense burners, and palm trees; finally, there are significant works of Islamic art, including cast bronze Koranic verses and abstracts such as "The Direction of Prayer" (see Appendix page x)

            Despite the proliferation of public art in Jeddah, this has also been subject to regulation, particularly the prohibition of the depiction of reproductive organs or reproduction of any living thing in consonance with the Wahhabi Sunni tradition. This restriction then developed various modes of artistic expression. This ranges from the tasteful to the bizarre. There is little sense of aesthetic order in sculptures that include a mounted defunct propeller plane, a giant geometry set, a giant bicycle, and a huge block of marble with several real cars protruding out of it at uncomfortable angles. Among the most famous abstractions are King Fahd's "Fountain", which dominates the Jeddah skyline today. This fountain, built between 1980 and 1983, is very much in the style of the freshwater fountain in Lake Geneva, the Jet d'Eau, which reaches 140 meters and lofts about seven tons of water into the air at any one moment at a nozzle speed of around 200 kph to a height of 312 meters. Both this and another giant fountain exist within the official Salam Palace perimeter. (Those by Saudi artists will be included in Appendix A, those by non-Saudis in Appendix B.) In spite of the Islamic restraints on artistic themes, Jeddah's urban aesthetic diverges significantly from dominant Saudi attitudes – attitudes visible in the other major Saudi cities where art of any kind is glaringly absent.

Studies on Public Art and Social Change

            Public art can promote a sense of civic pride, it can generate a sense of fun, and it can make a place more memorable, motivate public thought and support environmental regeneration. Inclusion of public art can bring substantial supplementary remuneration to a place; artists can offer new imaginative perspectives, which can contribute to the use of materials and themes and linking local communities in the design or creation stages can promote a sense of ownership. (Douglas Development Partnership, 2007)

            Art is one expression of and comment upon human experience uniquely culturally contextualized. This expression comes from within a struggle over a social environment and may suggest or even expose an artist's relationship with their society, and that society's relationship with itself. Art – and the culture that contains its expression, or restrains it – may be considered "a footing on ground that extends in breadth and depth beyond the status quo; that is, beyond the existent social reality with which s/he must contend" (Witkin, 2003: 23). Art, like culture, is an element in the struggle for identity and power (Foucault, 1980) between the reality of the individual and the powerful abstractions which exist outside and beyond them. However, in Jeddah much are exists in a no-man's land, it is extrinsic to the local culture yet still works in situ – though its popularity (or even deep visibility) is difficult to judge. In this unique location – or dislocation – art may

            There may be a dynamic relationship between some public art and some citizens, but it is easy to overstate the case.

 "The relationship between art and society can not be ignored, for art is in itself a social phenomenon first because the artist … is a social being; second, because his work … is always a bridge … between the artist and other members of society; third, because a work of art affects other people – it contributes to the reaffirmation or devaluation of their ideas, goals or values – and is a social force which, with its emotional or ideological weight, shakes or moves people. Nobody remains the same after having been deeply moved by a true art work" (Vazquez, 1973)

 

            However, public art may not quite fit this description. There is some reason to believe in the garnish description of public art (Kruger, 1992: 192). The lay person "moved by a true work of art" (Vasquez, 1973) – whatever that may means in terms of art and emotional responses – has frequently chosen to view such work in a particular, specialized, cut off and often highly personalized environment. None of these environmental conditions holds for public art. Instead, in the context of civic architecture – buildings, walls, factories, roads, docks, advertising billboards, shops, and parks – the public art is almost effaced. In the context of a grand boulevard the public art must be monumental to be visible and, more importantly perhaps, to be ideologically relevant. This may be particularly the case in Jeddah where the civitas is dominated not by shared spaces or a sense of a public in shared space but by a massive road network. Roundabouts replace piazzas. This is a common feature of Gulf conurbations, in many ways not dissimilar to those in the US such as New Jersey or Los Angeles. Public art, in such circumstances, occupies a rather unusual position in the public consciousness, somewhere between advertising hoarding and road sign.

            When sociologists talk about the interaction between art and society, they mean the influence of art on society. Its society that activates and moves the mechanism of art to take its changing shapes and ideological forms (Frascina et al, 1993). These can be dramatic, comic, critical, celebratory, imaginary, didactic or realistic. In the case of public art in Jeddah all these attributes are visible. Art does not crystallise from emptiness but rather from among existing social events. A conservative society to a great extent produces conservative art that expresses its values and tradition. There are, however, under and counter-currents, even in autocratic societies. The variety of public artistic discourse in Jeddah available as an alternative reading of art is crucial to the work of this thesis.

            The first step of the research process is a literature review. Texts concerning the relationship between art and society in the Western context are many. I shall concentrate on a few that may have something specific to say about the Oriental, the Saudi and specifically Jeddah's experience. Frascina (et al, 1993) gave an insight into the way art and social movements interact, while Berger (1977) offered a more intimate account of the decoding of art. This will be put into a wider cultural and aesthetic context (Adorno, 1985; Witkin, 2003), and into the context of the mechanics of the social work of culture (Halbwachs, 1992; Miszal, 2003) as well as focusing on the relationship between public art and society (Habermas, 2000; Mitchell, 1992). The function of ordering and power relationships in society (Foucault, 1991; 2001) may also be useful in the analysis of the host society.

            The Arab and specifically Gulf context will be important to both the analysis of the public art in situ in Jeddah, and the use of the four interviews. Dalacoura (1999) and Halliday (2002) will help contextualise and prevent a western orientation – or even an Occidentalization – of the subject matter (Said, 2003). The history of Islam art (Talbot Rice, 1975) will deepen an understanding of the aesthetics of Islam, while a wider understanding of the political environment (Webster, 1991; Richards and Waterbury, 1996) may offer a background to the use of public art in Jeddah.

 

 

Methodology

Research Design

To meet the research goal of gathering and analyzing data, the descriptive research will be applied. Robson (2002) and Creswell (2003), provides that descriptive research is a type of study seeks the investigation of the causes of certain phenomenon, presentation of facts covering the descriptions and characteristics of a situation as these occurs during the commencement of the study, and portrayal of accurate profile of people, situations or factors involved in the process. Holloway (1997) adds that utilizing the descriptive method serves the purpose of capturing a description of a situation, as it unfolds during the data gathering process and explores cause/s of a specific phenomenon.

Descriptive research applies to the study because this is quick and flexible resulting to these three advantages: 1) whenever new issues or questions arise throughout the course of the study the descriptive approach allows the researcher to proceed with further investigation; 2) whenever unproductive areas emerge from the original plan of the investigation as the research process continue, the researcher can drop these areas and concentrate on key areas of study; and 3) application of the descriptive research contributes to the cost and time saving considerations of the researcher (Creswell 1994).

The research will utilize the descriptive approach instead of other types of research because the goal of the study is to describe the various facets of public art in Jeddah and determine the impact that these have on social culture. This requires accounts of the development of public art, observations of public art, and the perceptions of the people directly involved in the installation of public art. Other types of research may not be able to support the data requirement of the research. 

Descriptive research utilizes observations and interviews. For this reason, the researcher will utilized this approach because of the intention to gather first hand primary data from three people with expertise in deriving an understanding or installation of public art in key public places in Jeddah. The interview will allow the researcher the opportunity to clarify the issues involved in investigating the impact of public art on social change. With the help of the descriptive approach, a clear picture of the situation may be elicited (Creswell, 2003). This research approach also serves as forerunner or extension to an exploratory research, which is a valuable research method, used in discovering what is happening; seeking new insights; asking questions; and/or evaluating an issue or situation in a new light (Robson 2002). Observation of public art will also constitute the other data gathering tool of the research to be conducted by the researcher using predefined criteria. 

Data Requirement

Data requirement of the investigation will include primary and secondary information. Secondary data refer to definitions, concepts, statistics, and research results reported as raw data or in published summaries. This serves as the context and foundation of the research. Secondary data may be classified under three main categories: document data, interview data, and data from different sources. Document data are collected through primary data collection methods with results presented in papers while interview data are derived from questionnaire results that have already been analyzed in line with their original research purpose. Primary data will be derived from the results of the interview with three key informants on public art and personal observations of selected public art in Jeddah. Secondary data will constitute the foundational support of the investigation while primary data will work to confirm the soundness and legitimacy of applicable theory, invalidate existing theories covering the subject matter, and confirm certain aspects but invalidate separable parts of theories through the researchers personal experiences of public art in Jeddah together with the responses of key respondents on Jeddah's public art as basis for the determination of the impact of public art on social change.

The combination of these two types of data will contribute to the validity of the research results because secondary data serves as the basis upon which the investigation proceeds while primary data constitutes information derived in the context of the specific issue or issues being investigated by the study. Relying only on one type of data or the other would not be able to support the requirements of the study.

Data Gathering Methods

            The research will utilize a combination of two methods of data collection: (1) observation and analysis of specific works of public art which are found in the Appendix and (2) in-depth interviews with key Jeddans—two artists and an architect with first hand information on public art in Jeddah— and the analysis of the answers given in the interview. The synthesis of observation and interview data should be able to support conclusions on the impact of public art in bringing about social change and describe the nature and extent of change brought about by the proliferation of public art in Jeddah.

(1) Visual analysis

            This will aim to follow, broadly, Gilbert's (1995) prescription of analysing images to gain "information about society". I will be examining public works of art in three categories: the traditional Islamic, the abstract modern, the amalgam of modern structures with some abstract and some representative elements. These works are by Saudi, Arab and non-Arab artists. Consideration will be given according to how these works will be mentioned in the interviews (see below), their fame among Jeddahn's, their physical positioning (central or not), their originality and controversiality.

(2) In-depth interviews

            In-depth interviews of two architects from Jeddah will explore their views on the reasons for the use of public art when planning the expansion of the city. An artist will also be interviewed to examine their opinion of the use of public art in this unique context. The former governor of the city will hopefully offer a wider sweep of political and aesthetic ideas. The interviews will use open questions to gain a maximum input. They will be carried out in Arabic, transcribed, translated and then those areas of the interviews with significant commentary on public art and its Jeddahn / Saudi context will be used.

            The use of in-depth interviews is crucial for this paper because of the lack of available documentation in general and on public art specifically in Saudi Arabia. Media coverage talks about incorrect maintenance methods but little else. General lack of awareness may be attributed to the conservative and autocratic nature of Saudi society

Data Presentation & Analyses

            Chapter one will be an overview and a general introduction of the history of Saudi Arabia and, specifically, of Jeddah – which is as different to other Saudi cities as London may be to other British cities. It will discuss dominant aesthetics, discourses secular and religious, and how these are negotiated in the unique context of Jeddah in the early twenty-first century. It will provide a history of Islamic art as well as specifically Saudi practice. The characteristics of Saudi society and how this affected art in all its forms will be examined. What do the constraints of Saudi Islamic practice mean for art as a practice and as a concept? Since Saudi religious leaders look at secular modernism as a threat primarily to their status art, in general, continues to be criticised in preaching and discourse.

            Chapter two will define the concept of public art, making definitions work specifically within the context of Saudi urban practice. The chapter will review the literature that discusses public art, focusing on explaining dominant modes of public aesthetic expression.

            Chapter three will set out the research methodology. It will discuss the process of data gathering, use of images, analysis of images, the process of in-depth interviews with key figures and the effect of combining all this in a synthesis of writing up.

            Chapter four will concentrate on an analytic description of the works of the public art in Jeddah. Images will be provided in an appendix. This chapter will contextualize these in terms of other images and symbols available for public reading. It will suggest those characteristics that make for specifically Saudi or Jeddah's public space. Five traditional and five modern public artworks will be analysed in depth.

            Chapter five will present a critical account of interviews conducted with key Jeddah-based architects and artists as well as its former governor, Mohammed Saeed Al-Farsi. Al-Farsi introduced public art to Jeddah and has written an account of this process. The interviews will be conducted in Arabic, then translated and transcribed.

            Chapter six will draw together the analysis of public art in chapter four with the critical account of the four interviews in chapter five. It will consider whether there are trends, discursive developments or political changes making themselves felt. It will ask whether Jeddah is a glimpse into the Saudi future or merely a cultural bubble, liable to burst. More widely it will attempt to examine the social impact of public art on Saudi society asking what such art represents for ordinary people.

            Chapter seven will conclude with a synthesis, and a more general suggestion of the role of public art in the cityscape. There will be appendices including all the major quoted artworks, the contextualizing urban architecture and other incidental visual moments from Jeddah such as advertisement hoardings and road signs. Maps of Saudi Arabia and the Jeddah agglomeration will be contained in chapter one.

Conclusion

            This thesis will be written up in both English and – later – Arabic. The reason behind an Arabic version is so that it may add to the wider aesthetic debate and be of benefit in the relatively closed Saudi culture. It is hoped it may help Saudis better appreciate their artistic environment and its urban context. This research will be shared with the Al Mansouria Foundation in Jeddah, support creativity in Saudi Arabia and help build bridges between artists and the public at large. The creative expression of all those artists whose works are visible in Jeddah needs exploration. There is also a need to establish the richness of a shared aesthetic experience, and to counter reductionism both Western (Huntington, 1996) and Arab.
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1 comment:

Shereen said...

Dear Sir,

please check the website below and read the message below and tell me what you think

http://sampleresearchproposals.blogspot.com/2008/07/what-is-role-of-public-art-in-jeddah.html

I am truly surprised that someone took my research which was submitted to City University in April 2007 and August 2007 and uploads it to a website with out my permission?

Can you please tell me how did this happen? This is a proposal that I submitted for my MA degree in sociology and according to it I received an approval to write my dissertation.

I demand a prompt explanation to this strange violation, and I would really appreciate it if my name was written as the original writer of this proposal

Thank you

Shereen H. Sejini

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