Publication Date

2018

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Bell, Sinclair

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Department

Department of Art and Design

LCSH

Art history||Sex--Study and teaching

Abstract

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.

Comments

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

Extent

65 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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