Born in Calabar, Nigeria, in 1963 and now dean of academic affairs at the San Francisco Art Institute, Okwui Enwezor has organized a number of seminal exhibitions of contemporary art. In 2001, the internationally touring exhibition “The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994” presented a complex view of African modernism, and in 2002 Enwezor oversaw one of the world’s most prestigious periodic art surveys, Documenta, in Kassel, Germany. Invited by the Mori Art Museum’s MAM Art Course lecture series, he came to Tokyo to give a presentation on another recent exhibition he organized, 2008’s “Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art” at the International Center of Photography in New York. The Japan Times sat down with Enwezor after his lecture to discuss his career and the state of contemporary art and curatorial practice.

Documenta11, which you directed in 2002, was a watershed in terms of presenting art from around the world at international survey exhibitions in Europe and the United States. Seven years later, do you feel the exhibition has had a lasting impact on how curators approach looking at art?

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