Okwui Enwezor has been named director of the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale, slated to open in May of 2015. The Nigerian-born writer, editor and curator, age 50, has held the post of director at Munich’s Haus der Kunst since 2011.
Enwezor brings with him a wide range of curatorial interests and experiences, having served as artistic director of a number of large-scale, international exhibitions: the Johannesburg Biennale (1997); Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany (2002); the Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo de Sevilla in Spain (2007); the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea (2008); and the Triennal d’Art Contemporain in Paris (2012).
With specialties that include video, photography and visual documentation, Enwezor is an adjunct curator at the International Center of Photography in New York where he curated “Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography” (2006), “Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art” (2008) and “Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life” (2012-13). Other museum shows he has organized include “Century City” (2001) at the Tate Modern in London, “ECM: A Cultural Archeology” (2012-13) at Haus der Kunst in Munich and “Stan Douglas: Le Détroit” (2000) at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has also written several books and contributed to a number of publications, and founded Duke University Press’s Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art in 1994.
Retaining a strong presence in academia, Enwezor has served as a visiting professor at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, New York’s Columbia University and the University of Pittsburgh, and was dean of academic affairs and senior vice president of the San Francisco Art Institute from 2005 to 2009.