ArtTerritories | 2010

Online platform for critical exchange on art and visual culture in and around the Middle East

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 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. It is not primarily a site to feature art but a space to reflect on the machine behind its making and placing.

Despite the lively arts and cultural developments in the Arab World 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. ArtTerritories sets out to define, connect, and expand already existing art communities in the region, while considering the threshold of what constitutes “the regional” as a challenging site for art practice.

Interview trails are activated simultaneously in various cities and, in a word by mouth tactics, swarm out in all directions, rendering particular streams of ideas, interests and affinities visible. Likewise, ArtTerritories is acting in multiple locations through a growing network of guest editors, contributors and users.

ArtTerritories is co-edited by Shuruq Harb and Ursula Biemann.
Trail editors: Ahmad Hosni, Bilal Khbeiz, Özge Ersoy, Mayssa Fatthouh, Nat Muller and Sary Zananiri.

As of 2017 ArtTerritories is no longer active. However, we have recorded the entire website which is archived under the above link.


ArtTerritories has contributed to publications, exhibitions and organizes events on the ground:

Insert in A-Prior art magazine
In March 2011, ArtTerritories in collaboration with A Prior art magazine held a workshop in Ramallah. Inspired by the energy of hope and anticipation in the Arab world, the project reflects back on moments in the 60’s and 80’s when Palestinians experienced a sense of departure, mobility and connectedness. The artists collaboratively designed a 20-page photo text piece to be published in the November issue of A Prior Magazine. Participating artists: Nahed Awwad, Ursula Biemann and Shuruq Harb, Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Basel Abbas and Inass H. Yassin.

Designing Civic Encounter
Symposium, bus tour, workshop and digital publication on urban development and public culture, Ramallah July 21-24, 2011. Short report.

Installation in exhibition “Comunitas – Among others”
Camera Austria (steirischer herbst), September 2011 in Graz