"I believe that all women should like their bodies and use them as tools of seduction," Amer stated; and in her well-known erotic embroideries, she at once rejects oppressive laws set in place to govern women's attitudes toward their bodies and repudiates first-wave feminist theory that the body must be denied to prevent victimization. By depicting explicit sexual acts with the delicacy of needle and thread, their significance assumes a tenderness that simple objectification ignores. Amer continuously allows herself to explore the dichotomies of an uneasy world and confronts the language of hostility and finality with unsettled narratives of longing and love.
Ghada Amer's work addresses first and foremost the ambiguous, transitory nature of the paradox that arises when searching for concrete definitions of east and west, feminine and masculine, art and craft. Through her paintings, sculptures and public garden projects, Amer takes traditional notions of cultural identity, abstraction, and religious fundamentalism and turns them on their heads.
Ghada Amer was born in Cairo in 1963. In 1974, her parents relocated to France where she began her artistic training ten years later at Villa Arson, Nice, France. She currently lives and works in New York and has exhibited among others at the Venice Biennale, the Sydney Biennale, the Whitney Biennale, and the Brooklyn Museum.
On June 2, the exhibition Dark Continent will open at Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré in Tours, France. The title, Dark Continent, is a reference to Sigmund Freud, in The Question of Lay Analysis writes: "The sexual life of adult women is a dark continent for psychology." This will be Amer's first solo museum exhibition in France since 2000 and will include painting, sculpture and two outdoor garden installations. Curated by Elodie Stroecken and on view through November 4.
In September, Dallas Contemporary will present the first comprehensive exhibition of Amer's ceramic works. Curated by Justine Ludwig.