Introduction by the Series Creator

Artist to Artist is an ambitious new film series, created to document contemporary art exhibitions from an artist’s perspective. The project began after Art21 received an invitation from Sharjah Art Foundation to attend Sharjah Biennial 11 in the United Arab Emirates.

In March 2013, I arrived in Sharjah with a camera, sound equipment, and a basic plan for documenting the exhibition. But soon after meeting up with artist Shahzia Sikander—an exhibiting artist in the biennial and a member of Art21’s Board of Trustees—I realized that by just following her as she enthusiastically engaged with her peers, Art21 could convey the experience of visiting Sharjah Biennial 11 while also providing rare insight into participating artists’ creative processes.

Inspired by this experience in Sharjah, Art21 has since filmed artists in conversation at biennials in Venice, Italy and Istanbul, Turkey. In time, Artist to Artist will go beyond biennials to include other major group exhibitions—continuing to provide a platform for exchange between artists while also exploring the locations in which their work is being shown.

Artist to Artist would not be possible without the support of Art21’s entire staff; Shahzia Sikander who facilitated our invitation to Sharjah Biennial 11; editor Morgan Riles; the talented camera crews, sound operators, and production assistants who assisted with the first three films; and the generous artists we have met in the course of filming.

Art21 has always privileged the artist’s voice, and it is my sincere hope to carry forth this tradition as the Artist to Artist series continues to develop.

Ian Forster, Creator and Producer of Artist to Artist
October 2013

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