Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Bell, Sinclair

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Art and Design


Art history; Sex--Study and teaching


Ghada Amer is a diasporic, female, artist of color who creates canvases that wield the domestic as both medium and subject. Her fiber work, including an early formative series combined with her later pornography pieces, feature densely threaded surfaces where images of women working oscillate between representation and non-objectivity. This thesis intervenes with the existing discourse surrounding Amer's oeuvre by utilizing the artist's own words along with materialist and intersectional theoretical material to offer two novel interpretive approaches. Specifically, I argue that Amer uses a gendered formula that is reflected visually as a way of referencing the entirety of a situation in order to discuss its dissolution and reconfiguration. The second chapter uses Private Rooms (1998-99), a soft sculpture installation, as support for the intersectional model from which Amer's reconfiguration draws. In particular, I hold that Amer's work explores the fluid concept of identity, especially identities that sit at the margins of society and culture, her own included. This act of keeping the borders or edges in sight in order to test their strength is shown to have parallels in the work of artistic predecessors like Eva Hesse as well as contemporaries such as Sheila Pepe.


Committee members: Aubry, Alex; Houze, Rebecca.||Advisor: Bell, Sinclair W.||Includes illustrations.||Includes bibliographical references.


65 pages




Northern Illinois University

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