عنوان مقاله [English]
Urban art emerged in cities after modernism. Prior to modernism, art was only available in private spheres, among aristocrats or in holy urban spaces. Hence, urban art is characterized by its popularity and its extended range of audience. Cities are products of the refinement of different civic processes which flow through the filter of time; hence, any element adjoined to a city must be formed in compliance with its contextual criteria in the proposed scale. This means that a mere focus of attention on a few structural elements of the city will weaken the work’s function and, as a result, the city itself. As instances of urban art, urban sculptures contribute to the physical and semantic definition of a public sphere. From the most simplistic possible view, any sculpture which can endure weather conditions such as heat and cold and aggressive acts of vandalism can be called an urban (outdoor) sculpture. Another naïve view point will call any sculpture built in the scale of meters (instead of centimeters) an urban sculpture. This is while, as academic studies demonstrate, the formation and success of urban sculptures as well as their spatial identities depend on relations between urban elements. In other words, the extent to which an instance of urban art gains prosperity is reliant on the work’s contextuality and its compliance with environmental potentials.
Factors which help define a sculpture as an instance of urban art include the sculpture-space relation and the relation between the sculpture’s physical (dimensions, materiality) and unphysical (subject, style, function) properties – which lead towards the mental properties of urban landscape such as identity, collective memories and belonging – and the space where it is installed, which is in turn centered on environment, architecture and audience. The sculptor and the coordinating urban landscape designer share the tasks of evaluating structural factors and highlighting certain factors against others. For a sculpture to be acknowledged as an urban work of art, there must be a symmetry between the sculpture (dimensions, subject, style, goals, function, etc), spatial specifications (environment, architecture, audience) and economical, social, political and cultural circumstances.
Studying sculpture and space as the two major formation factors of urban art and presenting instances of urban sculptures in Tehran from different points in history, the present article intends to investigate the above relation and find the reasons why these sample works were accepted or rejected in the urban context.