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Omar Kholeif

Omar Kholeif is a writer, curator, editor and sometime filmmaker based in London and Chicago. He is currently the Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Senior Visiting Curator at HOME. Previously he was a curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London Senior Editor of Ibraaz, Senior Visiting Curator at Cornerhouse, headed up Art and Technology at SPACE, London (where he was director of The White Building, London’s centre for art and technology), and was Curator at FACT, Liverpool. Omar was also Artistic Director at the Arab British Centre, London and Founding Director of the UK’s Arab Film Festival.

Omar’s work focuses on issues of narrative, geography and satire for a hyperbolic and accelerating global culture. His recent publications include You Are Here: Art After the Internet, Virgin with a Memory and Jeddah Childhood circa 1994.

He has curated major exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the Liverpool Biennial, the Cyprus Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, the 2015 Abraaj Group Art Prize at Art Dubai, UAE, and Armory Focus: Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean at the Armory Show, New York.

Q & A

What are you most proud of?
I am generally proud and emotional every time a project is completed; each exhibition is a journey and being able to work with artists is one of the greatest gifts anyone can ask for.

Which living artist do you most admire?
Right now, Ryan Trecartin. But it’s not admiration, it’s love.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I don’t like the idea of going back in time. I want to go far into the future.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Eating pizza and watching eposides of The Good Wife back-to-back, followed by a good dose of Rupaul’s Drag Race.