Artistic works and monuments without features or meaning have emerged in recent years and aroused ridicule by Iraqis
Iraqis have known art and sculpture since ancient times, and over the centuries artworks have emerged that formed a milestone in the history of art in Mesopotamia, as there are still monuments and artistic monuments that dazzled the world, but the dynasty of creativity did not survive, and in recent years artworks without features have emerged Or meaning, the Iraqis were ridiculed.
For years, public squares and important places were placed in which works did not highlight the artistic touches that attracted the attention of citizens, but they quickly became an object of mockery and laughter on a large scale on social networking sites.
These works opened the door to major questions about the future of Iraqi sculpture, especially after their appearance in public squares in several southern provinces, which raises more concerns about the widening of visual distortion and the decline of artworks that bear a clear aesthetic imprint.
The artist and academic at Dhi Qar University, Ayad Hayyawi, says that the artistic reality is constantly responding, especially with regard to the artistic works of sculptural monuments, as we see a decline in the choice of artistic content and forms for many reasons. Perhaps the most prominent of these is the intruders’ involvement in art and their consideration of names and artists.
Modernity gave – as Hayawi says to Al-Jazeera Net – the way for these people to engage without academic study, and helped them enter the art arenas and the presence of local authorities that “do not understand or understand art.”
According to Hayyawi, artworks today have become like the fictitious projects that take place in Iraq, in which theft is involved, meaning that people in power and through mediation take these projects on the basis that they have a financial gain.
Before the artist embarks on work on a monument under any name, he must take into account the collective spirit of this monument, and for the honesty here, one should never think of the individual’s spirit at all except from his style only, and here the sponsoring institution must act not in interfering with the artist’s freedom but in organizing diversity In the selection, this is what we do not find at the moment, says the interested in art and sculpture, Jaber Hijab.
Hijab assures Al-Jazeera Net that on such occasions, the state must work to take the known and applicable methods to choose the correct and best model, away from political and ideological pressure, and this is what we do not see at government institutions at all, but rather that there are individual decisions in establishing such projects, The matter is not without administrative and financial corruption.
And the memorial became – according to Hijab – to be erected in the squares away from the Ministry of Culture and its committees, and its order became entrusted to the contractor who receives the development project, where he has the freedom to choose the artist to fill the square with anything from cheap metal blocks, and this of course is subject to the available financial balance Little is left for him from the auction.
Hijab attributed this to the weakness of oversight responsible for erecting statues and monuments, stressing that any artist who respects his work and achievement cannot work in this sick practical atmosphere.
What raises the controversy and ridicule among the Iraqis in every sculptural work is that the financial costs of these works are exorbitant and shocking, according to circulated information In Najaf, the statue of the “Lion of God the Ghalab” cost 79 million dinars (about 54 thousand dollars), while the “martyrs” monument in Dhi Qar cost 99 million dinars (about 68 thousand dollars).
Bloggers have given various humorous popular labels to the monument that people mocked; In Nasiriyah, the statue of the Sumerian woman was called “Al-Salwa” because of its ugly appearance, referring to the myth of “Al-Salwa”, which is a folk tale, while they called the statue of the Karbala falcon “Sakr Aflih”, which is a tale of failure for a person called a farmer who had a falcon hunting Snakes and throwing them at him, and in Basra, citizens launched an artistic monument bearing an indication of oil, the statue of “eggplant” because of its shape that resembles an eggplant, and it cost nearly 8 billion Iraqi dinars (about 5 million and 475 thousand dollars).
These sculptural works did not withstand the mockery of citizens on social media, as many of the owners of these works or the authorities responsible for them were forced to remove them or try to restore or modify them in another way to escape the spotlight on them and reveal the truth about the works they provide and exhaust the country’s budget without fruitful results.
Hijab asserts that those he described as contracting artists have long been unable to present the collective spirit of the memorials, and that is why they do not hesitate to show their political ideology, and with the weak content of the work, we find that they do not present a creative form that attracts the eyes to it, but rather we find them leaning on ready-made images and factional discourses trying to During which the address in the spirit of oppression.
He adds, “The strange thing about these projects is that the artist’s name is not mentioned except at the opening of the work, and with this circumstance the artist became responsible for distorting the public taste, not for his upbringing and promotion, and I do not exempt him from the apparent degeneration of the public’s taste, and here it is right to say that corrupt projects only attract the artist Cheap. “
Therefore, memorials could not appear except in times of a unified consciousness and a unified culture, and the transient stages were not able to create any permanent memorials.
The works of art these days are executed by inappropriate people, who are connected to the concerned official, who in turn looks at the sculptures and appreciates them randomly, says the sculptor, Sajid Ajil.
Ajil added – during his speech to Al-Jazeera Net – that the artwork is an idea before it is a body or a monument, taking into account the angles and the space surrounding it, and there are many forms and works that are not organized, random and without significance, and this is a great evidence of the extent of corruption that distanced the true artist and sculptor from these projects And it brings people unrelated to art.