Examining Feminist and Muslim Identity through Ghada Amer's Art
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Ghada Amer was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1963, she spent most of her childhood and teen years in France, where she finished her studies at the world-renowned Villa Arson art school. She then moved to New York City, where she has been living and creating art since the early 1990s. As a woman originating from a Muslim society who spent the rest of her life in non-Muslim secular countries, the art that she creates has been influenced by her experiences in Egypt, France, and the U.S. Ghada Amer poses a challenge to the discipline of art history due to her inability to fit neatly into one geographic category. So, how do we address and organize art that does not fit neatly into the already existing definitions in the discipline of art history? How do we address and present an artist such as Amer in museums and exhibitions without completely ignoring parts of their identities or without failing to explain their work in its full context? It has become clear that there needs to be a fundamental restructuring of the practice of art history in order to provide a comprehensive collection of the world's art: both ancient and contemporary. Non-Euro-American art is typically presented in a limited capacity in art museums all over Europe and the United States. There is a lack of understanding of the history of these regions and the cultures from which the art comes.