Curated Highlights: Dr. Omar Kholeif's Selection from 1-54 London
Dr. Omar Kholeif is an award-winning author, curator, historian and broadcaster, who serves as the inaugural Director of Collections and Senior Curator at Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE. In 2021, Kholeif took up the role of guest curating the 1-54 Forum. Entitled Continental Drift, they have curated the event as a multi-part opera, in real and online, with newly commissioned performance, music, poetry and free-flowing conversation. It began with a performance by Kholeif with Zeitz MOCAA's Director and Chief Curator, Koyo Kouoh, followed by a virtual salon with musician and artist, Tinie (FKA Tinie Tempah); crypto artist, Osinachi; architect, Sumayya Vally and cultural strategist, Princess Alia Al Senussi, PhD.
Speaking of their selection below and their relationship with 1-54, Kholeif noted:
1-54 is not a fair so much as a year-long time capsule of the myriad thoughts occupying the minds of artists from Africa and its diaspora at any given moment. My selection is but a micro-snapshot of some of the voices, who, across generations, are stretching the limits of our perception. I hope it offers a lens for people to dig deeper.
Many of the works in Omar's selection were produced during global lockdowns and extremely difficult circumstances, which is something consciously acknowledged and felt. Kholeif has kept busy during this time voraciously reading, writing and speaking with artists. The outcome of these efforts appear in forthcoming books including the co-authored volume, Hrair Sarkissian: The Other Side of Silence (Lenz Pres, 2021); Creating Dangerously (SAF, 2021) and Internet Art: The First Thirty Years (Phaidon, 2022). In the works, a virtual, collaborative co-working space for contemporary artists.
Below, discover Dr. Omar Kholeif's selection from 1-54 London.