Sarat Maharaj was born and educated in South Africa during the Apartheid years. Professor of History & Theory of Art at Goldsmiths, London 1980-2005, where he is now Visiting Research Professor, he is currently Professor of Visual Art & Knowledge Systems, Lund University & the Malmo Art Academies, Sweden.
He was Rudolf Arnheim Professor, Philosophy Faculty, Humboldt University, Berlin (2001-02) and Research Fellow at the Jan Van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht (1999-2001). His specialist research and publications focus on Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce and Richard Hamilton. His writing covers: Visual Art as Know-How and No-How; Textiles, Xeno-Sonics and Cultural Translation through to new sociological studies in Non-Western Modernities and Beyond.
His image, sound, movement and consciousness studies, exemplified in discussions with Francisco Varela the neuroscientist and Buddhist scholar (2003) have been explored in several Knowledge Labs 2005 & 2006, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin with Liu Sola (Beijing) and Kofi Koko (Paris. Benin), New Media Art Lab (Banff, 2007) and the Visual Arts Knowledge Lab, Toronto, May 2009.
He was co-curator of Documenta X1 (Kassel. 2002). With Richard Hamilton and Ecke Bonk, he curated “Retinal. Optical. Visual. Conceptual on Marcel Duchamp” (Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2002). With Gao Shiming and Johnson Chang he was co-curator of “Farewell to Postcolonialism”, Guangzhou Triennial, 2008. He was editor/curator: Printed Projects 11 (Dublin) “Querying the GT 2008” at the Republic of Ireland/Northern Ireland Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2009. He is co-curator of the San Paolo Biennale, “Knowledge and Politics of Art”, 2010.