ArtTerritories is conceived as an independent platform for artists, thinkers, researchers and curators to reflect on their art practice and engage in critical exchange on matters of art and visual culture in the Middle East and the Arab World. Dedicated to the interview format, the initiative encourages discussion of artistic process with an emphasis on discursive art and media practices, collaborative initiatives, and cultural and institutional politics. ArtTerritories aims to define, connect and expand already existing art communities in the region as well as an ever-growing invested international arts community.
Initiated by Ursula Biemann and Shuruq Harb, the ArtTerritories website was officially launched in September 2010.
The incentive for establishing ArtTerritories emerges from a genuine need for a platform for artists in the region to connect and engage with one another.
Despite the lively arts and cultural developments in the Middle East in recent years, non-commercial exhibition spaces and art schools are small in number and remain fairly isolated, prompting many regional artists to study abroad. Intensified by impeded mobility, this has resulted in a diversity of artistic approaches and discourses but a disconnected regional art conversation and a fragmented sense of art community.
Unlike existing print and online magazines in the region, ArtTerritories is a space for ongoing interaction, networking and collaboration among artists, curators and other visual practitioners. Its aim is to strengthen the artist’s voice by exchanging views and artistic processes and to encourage the initiative of launching new trails of discussion in view of building a lively regional art community.