Archive, Lectures

Okwui Enwezor


“Bio-Politics, Human Rights and the Figure of Truth in Contemporary Art”


Okwui Enwezor is a leading curator of, and thinker about, contemporary art, and especially about its political stakes and theoretical entanglements. He is currently Visiting Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Pittsburgh.


From 1998 to 2002, he directed Documenta XI, culminating in a massive, controversial, and exciting exhibition in Kassel in the summer of 2002. Previously he organized and curated a number of celebrated international art exhibitions, including the 2nd Johannesburg Bennale in 1997 and the Africa section of the Global Conceptualism show at the Queens Museum in 1999. In 2002 he also presented The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994, at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York and elsewhere.


The theme of his talk was wide ranging and drew mostly on the tension between objectivity and truth, ethics and aesthetics, the other side of which has been rendered as politics and poetics in relation to the representation of the real in contemporary art.

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