Artists/Scholars in Residence

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NAIZA KHAN: 2017-2018

Naiza KhanNaiza Khan lives and works between London and Karachi. She studied at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. Her work has been widely exhibited, including at Art Basel Hong Kong (2017), the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the Shanghai Biennale (2012), the Cairo Biennale (2010), Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan at Asia Society, New York (2009); Art Decoding Violence, XV Biennale Donna, Ferrara, Italy (2012); Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain (2010) and Desperately Seeking Paradise, Art Dubai (2008).

As a founding member and former coordinator of the Vasl Artists’ Collective, Karachi she worked to foster art in the city, and participated in a series of innovative art projects in partnership with members of the Triangle Network. In addition, she has curated The Rising Tide: New Directions in Art from Pakistan, 1990–2010 at the Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi.  She has been artist-in-residence at the Institute for Comparative Modernities, Cornell University, USA; and Gasworks, London.   Khan is currently an MA candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London. 

Khan had her first retrospective, Karachi Elegies, at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, 2013. In the same year, she received the Prince Claus Award in recognition of her exceptional initiatives in the field of art and culture.

ANNETTE LOESEKE: 2015-2016

Annette LoesekeAnnette Loeseke is an art historian and works as a scholar and museum consultant in the fields of museum studies, visitor studies and exhibition development. She has been instructor in museum studies at NYU Berlin, associated lecturer in visitor studies at the Master-of-Museology Program of the Reinwardt Academy, Amsterdam University of the Arts, and visiting lecturer at Free University Berlin, Humboldt University in Berlin, and Heidelberg University. From June through August 2015, she was a scholar in residence at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, where she prepared an article about intercultural exhibition models. Annette has carried out numerous visitor studies for the National Museums in Berlin (Asian Art Museum, Neues Museum, Humboldt Lab Dahlem), The British Museum, Whitechapel Gallery, Shanghai Museum, and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Her research interests include intercultural museum studies and curating, reception processes and practices, theories of the artwork/ exhibit, and digital museum studies (non-linear formats/ exhibition models). Annette holds a PhD in art history from the University of Bonn. She studied art history, philosophy, romance literature and linguistics, and cultural management at universities in Freiburg, Munich, Paris, and London.

SHEIKHA HOOR AL QASIMI: 2013-2014

Sheikha Hoor Al QasimiSheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, is a practicing artist who received her BFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London (2002), a Diploma in Painting from the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2005) and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London (2008). In 2003, she was appointed curator of Sharjah Biennial 6 and has since continued as the Biennial Director. Al Qasimi serves on the Board of Directors for MoMA PS1, New York; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; International Biennial Association, Gwangju; Ashkal Alwan, Beirut and Darat Al Funun, Amman. She is Chair of the Advisory Board for the College of Art and Design, University of Sharjah; member of the Advisory Board for Khoj International Artists’ Association, New Delhi and former member of the Advisory Board at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2013-2016). She has served on the juries and prize panels for the Maria Lassnig Prize (2017), Mediacity Seoul Prize (2016), Hepworth Wakefield Prize for Sculpture (2016), Prince Claus Awards (2016), Berlin International Film Festival – Berlinale Shorts (2016), Videobrasil (2015), Dubai International Film Festival (2014) and Benesse Prize (2013).

Recent curatorial projects include major retrospectives Yayoi Kusama: Dot Obsessions (2016–2017), Robert Breer: Time Flies (2016–2017), Simone Fattal (2016) and Farideh Lashai (2016) as well as 1980–Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates, UAE Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Rasheed Araeen: Before and After Minimalism (2014) and Susan Hefuna: Another Place (2014). Al Qasimi was co-curator for Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige: Two Suns in a Sunset (2016), exhibited not only in Sharjah but also at Jeu de Paume, Paris; Haus der Kunst, Munich and IVAM, Valencia (forthcoming). She co-curated the major survey shows When Art Becomes Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists, 1938–1965 (2016) and The Khartoum School: The Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan, 1945–Present (2016–2017).

BAHIA SHEHAB: 2013-2014

Bahia ShehabBahia Shehab is a Lebanese-Egyptian artist, designer and Islamic art historian, studying ancient Arabic script and visual heritage to solve modern-day design issues. Bahia is also an associate professor at the American University in Cairo, where she has developed a four-year Graphic Design program focusing on the discipline in the Arab world. She is also a PhD candidate at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Shehab's artwork has been on display in exhibitions, galleries and streets in Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, UAE and the US. The documentary Nefertiti's Daughters (dir. Mark Nickolas), featuring her street artwork during the Egyptian uprising, was released in 2015. Her work has received a number of international recognitions and awards; TED fellowship (2012) and TED Senior fellowship (2016), BBC 100 Women list (2013, 2014), The American University in Beirut distinguished alumna (2015), Shortlist for V&A’s Jameel Prize 4 (2016), and a Prince Claus Award (2016). Her book A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif was published by Khatt Books in 2010.  Shehab is the first Arab woman to receive the UNESCTO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture, awarded to her in 2016.

ELIZABETH GIORGIS: 2012-2013

Elizabeth GiorgisElizabeth W. Giorgis is Professor of Theory and Criticism at College of Performing and Visual Art, and Director of the Modern Art Museum: Gebre Kristos Desta Center at Addis Ababa University. She previously served as Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies and Dean of the College of Performing and Visual Art at Addis Ababa University. She is the editor and author of several publications including “Perspectives on Ethiopian Modernity and Modernism,” a special issue in Northeast African Studies (Vol 13.1; 2013), co-editor of “Charting Ethiopian Modernity and Modernism,” a special issue on Ethiopian art and literature in Callaloo, Journal of the African Diaspora (Vol 33.1; 2010) and Gebre Kristos Desta: The Painter Poet (Institute of Ethiopian Studies, 2006), the first catalogue of contemporary art published in Ethiopia. She has curated several exhibitions including Time Sensitive Activity (2015), an exhibition of Olafur Eliasson’s work, and contributed to the exhibition catalogs of Addis Ababa: The Enigma of the New and the Modern (2013) and Revolutionary Motherland or Death: Students’ Work during the Derg Regime (2012) Giorgis studied History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell University and Museum Studies at New York University. She is currently finalizing a book project on the history of Ethiopian Modern Art.

IDRISSOU MORA-KPAI: 2011-2012

IDRISSOU MORA-KPAIIdrissou Mora-Kpai is an award winning filmmaker whose films have been screened world-wide at prestigious festivals in Berlin, Rotterdam, Vienna, Milano, Busan, Sheffield. Born in Benin, West Africa, Idrissou’s social documentaries tackle post-colonial African societies, African migrations and diasporas. Idrissou graduated from the Potsdam Babelsberg’s Film University and lived in Germany and France for nearly two decades. In 1999, he established MKJ FILMS, a production company principally devoted to documentary films. He currently teaches film production and documentary studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a recipient of the prestigious Dutch Prince Claus Award (2013) for his artistic achievements dedicated to promote social change in the Global South.

Following a sting of successful short documentaries, Mora-Kpai released his first feature length film, Si­-Gueriki: The Queen Mother, in 2002. The film is an intimate and personal story about Idrissou’s return to his home village in Benin. In it, he attempts, after years of estrangement, to establish a relationship with his mother; in the process, he also learns about the rapidly changing role of women in rural Benin. His second documentary feature, Arlit, the Second Paris (2005), denounces multinationals’ exploitation of Africa’s raw materials, their disregard for workers, and the injustices and inequalities of North‐South relations. Mora-Kpai’s most recent feature length project, Indochina ­- Traces of a Mother (2011) tells the story of African colonial soldiers forcefully conscripted to fight for the vanishing French Empire in Indochina and the fate of their mixed‐race children. Joe’s Corner Store, Mora-Kpai's forthcoming documentary feature (currently in post-production) explores the daily struggles of an African-American community in a quickly gentrifying historical black neighborhood in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, just after the Walter Scott killing.  Mora-Kpai is also currently at work on his first fiction filmmaking project, tentatively titled “Border.”

IBRAHIM EL-SALAHI: 2009-2010

IBRAHIM EL-SALAHIIbrahim El-Salahi is truly one of the most impressive figures in the field of contemporary African art. He is an artist whose productivity has spanned more than five decades, and a powerful intellectual who remains morally conscientious, socially concerned, and uncompromising in his artistic integrity. El- Salahi’s prolific career is one of constant experimentation with different techniques, symbolic languages, and visions. His diverse body of work is not bound within one style nor is it constrained by the early parameters of Sudanese aesthetic concerns. His paintings combine a critical understanding of Western art principles with an original visual sophistication in their reference to Sudanese and African as well as Islamic art forms. 

Born in 1930 in the historic city of Omdurman, Sudan, El-Salahi studied at the School of Design, Gordon Memorial College (subsequently renamed the Khartoum School of Fine and Applied Art) between 1948-1954, where he majored in painting. Between 1954-1957, he studied at the Slade School in London. He returned to Sudan and taught for many years at the School of Fine and Applied Art, one of the most active centers of creative talent in Africa and a major contributor to the growth of the modern African art movement. It was under the leadership of El- Salahi that the “Khartoum School” emerged as an important group of Sudanese artists known for their distinct and innovative styles. El-Salahi’s powerful paintings reflect a life of struggle, migration, contemplation, and critical meditation. Revered throughout Africa and the Middle East, El-Salahi has inspired generations of artists with his meditative approach to imagery. A major traveling retrospective of his career entitled Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist was unveiled in Gallery 22, Katara, Doha, on October 4, 2012, as a collaboration between the Museum of African Art in New York and the Cultural Village Foundation (Katara). This retrospective traced El-Salahi’s journey from Sudan, his studies at the Slade, his periods of travel and residency in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, his self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom and Qatar, and, most recently, the United States.