Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ghada Amer - Red Diagonales Feinins

On the wall, Red Diagonales, dye, embroidery on paper after Ghada Amer courtesy of Feinin

Ghada Amer view from the Brooklyn Museum speaks about her career as Love Has No End, she is an artist who works in many facets as a painter, sculptor, illustrator, performer, garden designer, and installation artist. She describes herself as a painter and is internationally recognized for her abstract embroidered erotic drawings, her entire body of work is infused with ideological and aesthetic concerns....(namely shit). I'm not sure if she has the right to use the term embroidery...the threads looked glued to me.

Wiping your napkin during a heavy flow (threads optional)

After I produced this work which took me two more of the three minutes I wanted to spend on it, the matting and tangling of the threads coated with glue and red dye had me frustrated. I felt it dealt with a subject that was strictly female, or as if I had a heavy period and used the mucus as part of the work. I wondered as well how did she become known? And the answer I am sure is quite simple, she slept with a curator, give or take three times to seal the deal. Nothing wrong with that, you know we men, we'll screw any crevice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm reading this about Amer's "Red Diagonales" tonight. Kimberly Lam opens her review by saying:

"Ghada Amer is best known for works that at first glance seem to be Abstract Expressionist paintings but are actually pornographic images of women embroidered onto canvases with colored thread. It is Amer’s choice to let the thread spill from these images, pouring into rhythmic tangles that create visual affinities with Abstract Expressionism’s swaths of color and gestural lines. In her best pieces, thread and paint play off each other. In “Red Diagonales” (2000) Amer has painted the top half of the canvas with blunt strokes of bright orange bordered by two dripping patches of black paint. Sexually explicit images of supine women are embroidered diagonally across the canvas so that the loose threads fall into alignment with the streams of dripping paint, which defies voyeurism while provoking viewers to encounter a place where figuration and abstraction erotically blur."

Lam continues:
"With skill and wit, this ongoing series literalizes the familiar argument that hyper masculinity fueled Abstract Expressionism. If the style implicitly denigrated femininity and explicitly dismissed mass culture, what links femininity and mass culture better than images of women stitched into poses of fleshy availability? And while their criticism is scathing, these canvases, the foundation of Amer’s work, are inspired by a generative vision. “Red Diagonales” is delightfully surprising not only because it takes Abstract Expressionism in a thoughtful direction, but also because it makes salacious images less about objectification and more about pleasure."

I think she is saying, among other things, that Amer, as a woman, was taking back control of representation of the female body. Sherman, though, in "Untitled #255" was just mirroring the status quo.

"I felt it dealt with a subject that was strictly female..."

Would you say that while doing this Feinin study, you became "intimidated" by the subject, like you had unwittingly got yourself entwined in "secret women's business" as the indigenous Australians would say. Even if this is not what you intended, the way you stand in front of the piece in the first photo watching your entangled hands and fingers with a slightly bemused expression on your face supports this conclusion, and then in the second you seem to be actually surrendering and demonstrating for the viewer the extent of your discomfort/entrapment.

Now on that subject of hyper masculinity to which Lam refers above, I was looking at all the females on the curatorial staff of the Brooklyn Museum and wondering if it was your own "hyper masculinity" that led to your assumption that it had to be a male curator that Amer cosied up to to get her work shown? (Just pulling your leg!)

By the way, I must admit that without the explanation given by the reviewer, I would have stood in my shoes and wondered if I had encountered these pieces on my own.

Thanks for the tour.


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