This article examines the practice of Land Art in the United Arab Emirates as a way to negotiate natural and cultural heritage discourses prevalent in the Arab Gulf. It thereby views artworks as cultural statements that possess the enunciatory power to make visible the negotiation and ambiguity inherent in art production. Since heritage and art industries in the UAE have been closely intertwined, heritage discourses have permeated art production and influenced artists’ assumptions about the ways in which nature has been, or should be, equated with the nation. The article argues that Land Art can reveal the ambiguities in artists’ negotiation of the relation between nature and nation – regardless of the artists’ prior intentions for the artwork.
Heritage, Arab Gulf, Land Art, United Arab Emirates, Third Space
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