Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ghada Amer: Love Has No End

Ghada Amer's exhibit " at the Brooklyn Museum is worth the trip all of the way to Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. This well established Egyptian born artist has been working in Paris and the US for many years. She's gained much attention for her embroidered images of women in pornographic poses with thread raked across them as well as her male and female straitjackets embroidered head to toe with "Barbie Loves Ken" and "Ken Loves Barbie"; all are on view. Drawings from her earlier works that sexualize Disney characters including Princess Jasmine and Alice in Wonderland, reminding me of my vague discomfort watching "Aladdin," glaring stereotypes and all, during one of last summer's language classes at AUC . More interesting to me were Amer's later works, also thread and text-based, such as "The Reign on Terror," showing different international emblems of power and terror and neutral toned embroidered works of Arabic script, dictionary definitions of "Peace," "Love," "Freedom," and "Security." In the midst of the bright colors of her other pieces, these works seem plain but when stepping closer to the pale thread on pale canvas are more elaborate and involved, drawing sense to the meaning of the words. Ghada Amer will give an artist's talk at the museum this Saturday, September 20, 2-4 pm. The exhibit runs through Oct. 19 (Pictured is a performance piece: I Love Paris.)

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