Omar Kholeif has today joined Cornerhouse as its newest Visiting Curator. Kholeif joins Henreitte Huldisch (Berlin) and Michael Connor (New York) to work with Artistic Director (Visual Arts and Film) Sarah Perks, on artistic development and strategy for Cornerhouse and HOME’s visual arts and film programmes.
Kholeif, born in Egypt and currently based in London, is a specialist in film, video and new media, and brings almost a decade’s experience in the sector. He is currently Head of Programming at The White Building, London’s centre for art and technology.
Kholeif was previously Curator at FACT, Liverpool, the UK’s national centre for film and new media, where he curated and commissioned over a dozen major projects – working with artists such as Akram Zaatari, Anja Kirschner and David Panos, Pedro Reyes, and Semiconductor. He was also Curator at the Arab British Centre, London, and founding Director of the UK’s Arab Film Festival, which this year was hosted at Cornerhouse.
He has contributed curatorial projects to the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art; Impakt Festival, Netherlands; Werkleitz Biennial, Germany; Whitechapel Gallery, London; ICA, London; The International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands; ‘Beirut’, Cairo; New Museum/Rhizome, New York; Arnolfini, Bristol; and Art Dubai, UAE, to name just a few. He writes for the international press and was a founding editor of Portal 9, a bi-lingual journal of art and architecture published in Beirut; as well as being Senior Editor of Ibraaz Publishing, the leading critical forum for visual culture in North Africa and the Middle East.
Kholeif is no stranger to Cornerhouse. In 2012, he curated Subversion – a major group show featuring 12 international artists including Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Marwa Arsanios, Wafaa Bilal and Sharif Waked. Speaking about his appointment, he said:
‘I am excited to be joining Sarah Perks and the rest of the curatorial team at one of the most exciting moments in Cornerhouse’s history. In particular, I’m excited to be working on the opening programme for HOME, our new arts organisation, which will build on Cornerhouse’s outstanding reputation – and which has the potential to pioneer new approaches to how institutions envision relationships across our most exciting art forms’.
Sarah Perks said: ‘Omar is a really exciting and talented curator and he’s joined our team at a really important time. As well as the opening programme for HOME we’re developing the last few exhibitions and seasons in Cornerhouse’s iconic and much-loved building; for both we’re exploring ideas and artists that will make a huge impact for Manchester, nationally and internationally.”