Omar Kholief will produce a series of bi-weekly texts that explore the concept of ‘Arabness’ in relationship to the contemporary visual arts. Is there such a thing as an Arab aesthetic in art and, if so, how can this be determined in an age of globalization? Alongside broader event-based reviews and criticism, these short form pieces of writing will help determine what Arab art might mean in the age of the contemporary.

Dr. Omar Kholeif is a writer and curator whose work focuses on the intersection of art, global politics and emerging technologies. Kholeif is the Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Previously, he was Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London; Senior Curator at Cornerhouse, Manchester; Curator at FACT, Liverpool; Head of Art and Technology at SPACE, London; Artistic Director of the Arab British Centre, London and founding Director of the UK’s Arab Film Festival. He has curated or co-curated numerous exhibitions, commissions and programs internationally, including Focus: Beyond Territory, Abu Dhabi Art (2017); Cyprus Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Abraaj Group Art Prize, Dubai (2015); Focus: Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean, Armory Show, New York (2015) and the Liverpool Biennial (2012). Among his more than twenty edited or co-edited books are Electronic Superhighway (2016), The Rumors of the World: Re-thinking Trust in the Age of the Internet (2015), Moving Image (2015) and You Are Here: Art After the Internet (2014). Forthcoming single-authored books include The Artists Who Will Change the World and Goodbye World! Looking at Art After the Internet (both 2018). In 2016, he was the Goldberg Visiting Professor at Hunter College, New York, and has won awards and grants from major organizations, most recently from the Graham Foundation for the Advanced Study of Fine Arts. In 2017, he was appointed co-curator of the 14th Sharjah Biennial.