5 Questions – Wassan Al-Khudhairi

5 Questions – Wassan Al-Khudhairi

128px-feed-icon-svgWelcome listeners to 5 Questions: A Critical Mass for the Visual Arts Podcast in which we ask 5 questions of our interviewees aimed at positioning and contextualizing their respective bodies of work within the St. Louis artworld. This episode, we’re talking with Wassan Al-Khudhairi.

Wassan Al-Khudhairi is the Chief Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, where she has organized Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Earwitness Theatre, Guan Xiao: Fiction Archive Project, Hayv Kahraman: Acts of Reparation, Trenton Doyle Hancock: The Re-Evolving Door to the Moundverse and SUPERFLEX: European Union Mayotte. Prior to her position at CAM, Al-Khudhairi was the Hugh Kaul Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art. During her time in Birmingham, she organized the first large-scale exhibition of the museum’s contemporary collection, Third Space / shifting conversations about contemporary art. She was invited to be a Curator for the 6th Asian Art Biennial in Taiwan in 2017 and Co-Artistic Director for 9th Gwangju Biennial in South Korea in 2012. Serving as the Founding Director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar, Al-Khudhairi oversaw the opening of the Museum in 2010 and co-curated Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art and curated Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab.


  1. How much do you think curators and writers should be involved in shaping an artist’s vision?
  2. Help us demystify the whole process. A lot of artists would say it’s difficult to get their work in front of curators.
  3. What is your particular viewpoint, if you can distill it? Why is it vital?
  4. What are your top priorities or concerns as a curator?
  5. How should an artist approach you if they want you to think about their work?


That’s it for this episode of 5 questions, thanks to Wassan, and to you our listeners and community.

OUTRO: 5 Questions is a program by Critical Mass for the Visual Arts – a nonprofit, self-formed visual arts collaborative dedicated to promoting, enhancing and initiating contemporary visual art in the St. Louis region.

With Wassan Al-Khudhairi and Joe Kohlburn

Editor – Sarah Hammond

Producer – Brett Williams

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