A Bold Move to the MCA

Chicago Curatorial Global Staff

Omar Kholeif explains his decision to move across the world to work at the MCA.

There are a number of different reasons why someone makes a decision to move halfway across the world to take up a job and for me it was a number of different points. One, I became—well, actually the first thing was that I remember very specifically coming to the MCA and being mesmerized by it as an institution, and that carried over an allure and an excitement. So that was the first thing that propelled me.

But when I actually came here to think about this as a serious proposition, I was very endeared by the civic sense of not only the trustees of the museum but also its staff in terms of how they wanted to contribute to society and how they saw the museum as a kind of beacon for opening up debate around art and culture as a broader tool for understanding society as opposed to simply a space for the display of art. And so that excited me.

And then I have to say that the city of Chicago in and of itself had an incredibly rich history as a great American city, and that was all enticing. But, beyond that, I also come from a very particular curatorial perspective in that I work with artists who haven't necessarily shown in the United States before, and so I felt that it would be an incredibly rewarding challenge to try and bring in some of those voices here.

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