Omar Kholeif, photo by Eric T. White


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 programmes 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).

Kholeif holds MA degrees from the University of Glasgow and the Royal College of Art, London as well as a PhD from the University of Reading. He is a Churchill Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of AICA, International Association of Art Critics. In 2016, he was the Goldberg Visiting Professor at Hunter College, New York. He has served on numerous juries, including those for the Film London Jarman Award and the Thoma Foundation Arts Writing Award in Digital Art, and has won awards and grants from major organisations, most recently from the Graham Foundation for the Advanced Study of Fine Arts.

Born in Cairo, he currently lives and works in Chicago and London.

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