Dr. Adnan Madani

Staff details

Position Lecturer in Visual Cultures
Department Visual Cultures
Email a.madani (@gold.ac.uk)
Dr. Adnan Madani
I'm an artist, writer and curator interested in contemporary subjectivities in relation to philosophies of globalization, religious/secular life and intercultural encounter. My  focus is on the work of Jean-Luc Nancy, Wittgenstein, Talal Asad and the ethics of esoteric Islam as developed by Massignon. Other areas of specialisation include contemporary South Asian art and popular urban cultures in Pakistan.
My current art practice and research explore the relationship between iconoclasm in Modern art and the destruction of historical objects and sites in contemporary war. I am also involved in collaborative practices, including an ongoing walking/documentation project about invasive species in England and the idea of nature.
Currently Teaching:
I'm convening the MA seminar "Postcapitalist Desire", where I'm especially involved in developing participatory and collaborative pedagogical models with the students. I'm also teaching on the BA module "Contemporaneities", where my block looks at re-thinking particularity and universalism after post-colonial theory.
PhD.: Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London, 2016
MA:  Contemporary Art Theory, Goldsmiths, University of London, 2006
BFA: Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, 2001
2016 October "Art Sabka? Pakistani Cinema Reflected", exhibition of 7 major Pakistani artists and their work around popular cinema, FOMMA Gallery, Karachi
Selected Art Projects and Exhibitions:
Ongoing:  "Invasive Species", multimedia installation and research project with David Alesworth, exploring migration, botany, Linnaean classification and colonial science in the English Landscape.
2013  "Extra/Ordinary", Canvas Gallery, Karachi
2012 "The Divided Self", Slought, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2009 "The Rising Tide", Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi
2008, Vasl Arts Residency, Lahore
2008 "Destination Asia: Flying Over Stereotypes", Elementa Gallery, Dubai
2005 "Beyond Borders, Art From Pakistan", National Gallery of Contemporary Art, Mumbai
Talks, Conferences and Lectures:
2016 December "A Choir of Fictional Voices",  City in Context, Lahore Arts Council, Lahore
2016 December "Introducing the Lahore Biennale" with Rashid Rana, Lahore Arts Council, Lahore
2016 June "Muslim Subjectivity and Global Art", Visual Cultures Public Programme, Goldsmiths, London
2016 April "Performance/Transformations", Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi
2014, “Karachi Popped?”, public conversation on Pakistani art and popular culture with David Alesworth and Nada Raza at The Southbank Centre, London

Publications and research outputs


Martinon, Jean-Paul and Madani, Adnan. 2024. Visual Cultures as World-Forming. Berlin: Sternberg Press. ISBN 9783956795374

Book Section

Gaur, Meenu and Madani, Adnan. 2020. The Ghost in the Projector: New Pakistani Cinema & its Hauntings. In: Vazira Zamindar and Asad Ali, eds. Love, War & Other Longings: Essays on Cinema in Pakistan. Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford University Press Pakistan, pp. 48-72. ISBN 9780190701857


Madani, Adnan. 2018. The frame as borderland: Secular gazes and believing bodies in Bani Abidi’s The Distance From Here (2010). Moving Image Review & Art Journal, 7(2), pp. 236-250. ISSN 2045-6298

Madani, Adnan. 2018. Cloud Memories, Desert Dreams. Hybrid, Journal of Visual Culture, 1(1),


Madani, Adnan; Abidi, Bani; Dadi, Iftikhar and Talpur, Mohammad Ali. 2016. Art Sabka?: Pakistani Cinema Reflected. In: "Art Sabka?: Pakistani Cinema Reflected", Foundation for the Museum of Modern Art, Karachi, Pakistan.


Madani, Adnan. 2016. Formations of the Contemporary : Islam, Globalization and Art. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London