Okwui Enwezor (Nigeria, 1963) is a curator, art critic, editor and writer, since 2011 he has been the Director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich.
He was Artistic Director of the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale in South Africa (1996-1998), of documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany (1998-2002), the Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla in Spain (2005-2007), the 7th Gwangju Biennale in South Korea (2008) and the Triennal d’Art Contemporain of Paris at the Palais de Tokyo (2012).
Enwezor’s wide-ranging practice spans the world of international exhibitions, museums, academia, and publishing. He is interested in African, European, Asiatic, North and South American art of the 20th and 21st Century, in modern and contemporary art of the African countries and the contemporary art of the African diaspora. Enwezor’s research includes video and photography, archives theory, photographic documentation, photojournalism and museums history. He also studies theories on diasporas and migrations, of post-colonial modernism and the architecture and urbanism of postcolonial African cities.
In 1994 he founded “Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art” published by Duke University Press. As a writer, critic, and editor, he has been a regular contributor to exhibition catalogues, anthologies and journals, and has published articles and interviews in the major daily newspapers and periodicals of the world. He is the author of many books, including Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary (Gottingen: Steidl and New York: International Center of Photography, 2008), Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Damiani, 2009, with Chika Okeke-Agulu), Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity (Duke University Press, 2008, with Terry Smith and Nancy Condee), James Casebere: Works, 1975-2010 (Damiani, 2011).
He has held many academic positions such as Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President of the San Francisco Art Institute (2005-2009), Visiting Professor at the Department of Art and Architectural History at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Visiting Professor at the Department of Art History and Archaeology of Columbia University, New York. In spring 2012, he was the Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor in Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.
His many exhibitions include: ECM: A Cultural Archaeology, Haus der Kunst, Munich; Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life, International Center of Photography, New York; The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich; Century City, Tate Modern, London; Mirror’s Edge, Bildmuseet, Umea; In/Sight: African Photographers, 1940-Present, Guggenheim Museum; Global Conceptualism, Queens Museum, New York; David Goldblatt: Fifty One Years, Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona; Stan Douglas: Le Detroit, Art Institute of Chicago; Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography, International Center of Photography, New York; The Unhomely: Phantom Scenes in Global Society, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville; Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art, International Center of Photography, New York.