Omar Kholeif
Omar Kholeif is an Egyptian-born, British curator, writer and editor. He currently holds the post of Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and teaches visual art and art history at the University of Chicago. Previously, he was Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, Senior Visiting Curator at Cornerhouse and HOME, Manchester and Senior Editor of Ibraaz. He also headed up art and technology at SPACE, London and was Curator at FACT, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool. Kholeif has also been Artistic Director at the Arab British Centre and founding director of the UK's Arab Film Festival. In 2012, he was a co-curator of the Liverpool Biennial. In 2015, he curated the Cyprus Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, as well as the Abraaj Group Art Prize and FOCUS: MENAM at the Armory Show, New York.

Omar writes for the international press and was a founding editor of Portal 9, an Arabic-English journal of urbanism and architecture. His most recent publications include, Vision, Memory and Media (Liverpool University Press, 2010), Far and Wide: Nam June Paik (Leonardo, 2013),You Are Here: Art After the Internet, Virgin with a Memory (for Sophia Al-Maria), Jeddah Childhood circa 1994 (all 2014) and Moving Image (2015). Dr. Kholeif holds degrees from the University of Glasgow, the Royal College of Art, London and the University of Reading. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of AICA, the International Association of Art Critics.

Entries by Omar Kholeif

The Internet Isn't Just a Space for Art

(0) Comments | Posted 10 July 2014 | (02:17)

As a museum curator, I have over the years been consistently privy to conversations around the digital context's enveloping power. However reflecting on these discussions it seems to me that they are far too often weighed down by a kind of institutional FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Are we fully...

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Nine Keywords for the Digital Sphere

(0) Comments | Posted 25 May 2014 | (12:54)


Image Credit: Zach Blas, Facial Weaponization Suite, 2013.

The space of the web might seem like an openly transparent one. User journeys are seemingly ones that we create individually, adopt and adapt, forming personal structural and spatial universes. However, as a sphere,...

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Reflections on the 2014 Whitney Biennial

(0) Comments | Posted 25 May 2014 | (11:47)

As the Whitney Biennial of American art draws to a close, an outsider reflects on its significance.


Image Credit: Bjarne Melgaard, Think I'm Gonna Have A Baby, 2014.

For me, the Whitney Biennial is a strange beast. For a long time,...

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The Arab Winter of Discontent

(0) Comments | Posted 20 November 2012 | (23:33)

Last month at the London Film Festival, Egyptian filmmaker Ibrahim El Batout, who directed the nuanced, Ains Shams/Eye of the Sun (2008), showcased the UK premiere of his latest feature-length work, Winter of Discontent/Ell Sheita Elli Fat (2011). No, this isn't the British Winter of Discontent, but an...

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The Problem With Arab Culture

(26) Comments | Posted 14 September 2012 | (01:00)

I often get asked the question - "do you think Arab culture is having an international renaissance?" This question is often a default position in response to the mixed bag of cross cultural events that has most recently developed to supposedly mirror or 'open up dialogue' around social conditions in...

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