Biography

Art historian and artist Iftikhar Dadi is an associate professor in Cornell University’s Department of the History of Art and director of the South Asia Program. He researches and teaches modern and contemporary art from a global and transnational perspective, with emphasis on questions of methodology and intellectual history. His writings have focused on modernism and contemporary practice in Asia, the Middle East and their diasporas. Other research examines the film, media and popular cultures of South Asia in order to understand how emergent publics forge new avenues for civic participation.

Dadi’s essays have appeared in numerous journals, edited volumes and online platforms. He is the author of Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia (University of North Carolina Press, 2010), which received the Book Prize from the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (2010). Other publications include the edited monograph Anwar Jalal Shemza (2015), the co-edited catalogue Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space (2012) and the co-edited reader Unpacking Europe: Towards a Critical Reading (2001). He is advisor to Asia Art Archive, a Hong Kong-based research organisation, and currently serves on the editorial advisory boards of the journals Bio-Scope: South Asian Screen Studies and Archives of Asian Art. He was previously a member of the advisory board of Art Journal (2007–2011).

Among his co-curated exhibitions are Lines of Control, Nasher Museum, Duke University, Durham, US (2013) and Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, US (2012); Tarjama/Translation, Herbert F. Johnson Museum (2010) and Queens Museum of Art, New York (2009); and Unpacking Europe, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2001).

As an artist, Dadi works collaboratively with Elizabeth Dadi. Their work investigates memory, borders, and identity in contemporary globalisation, the productive capacities of urban informalities in the Global South, and the mass culture of postindustrial societies. Their work has been presented at a number of international exhibitions, including Homelands: Art from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, Kettle's Yard, University of Cambridge (2019–2020); Havana Biennial (2019); Lahore Biennale 01 (2018); Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai (2015, 2018); Office of Contemporary Art Norway, Oslo (2017); Dhaka Art Summit (2016); Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan (2012); Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2010); Queens Museum of Art, New York (2005); and Liverpool Biennial, Tate Liverpool (2002).

Dadi received his PhD from Cornell University (2003). Born in 1961 in Karachi, he lives and works in Ithaca, US.

SAF participation:
Production Programme 2020 (Jury)