Hélia Paukner, curator in charge of the Contemporary Art Department, the Mucem
Philippe Dagen, art historian of the 20th and 21st centuries, professor at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, critic for the daily Le Monde and independent curator
(Mucem and the chapel of the Centre de la Vieille Charité)
Studio Matters, Joris Lipsch and Floriane Pic
The exhibition “Ghada Amer” is the first retrospective of the artist in France. Taking place in three venues (the Mucem, the Frac Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and the chapel of the Centre de la Vieille Charité), it brings together the different modes of plastic expression of the Franco-American-Egyptian artist, from her beginnings to her most recent creative work.
Embroidery, painting, ceramics, bronze and the creation of gardens are at the heart of her art. Between East and West, Ghada Amer questions representations, relationships of domination, processes of assimilation, and opposition or translation from one culture to another. Today she is a major voice in post-colonial and feminist issues in contemporary creative work.
Born in Cairo in 1963, Ghada Amer moved to Nice with her parents in 1974. She studied at the Villa Arson before joining the Institut des hautes études en arts plastiques in Paris. Outraged by the difficulty of asserting herself as a painter in the 1980s – and all the more as a woman painter – Ghada Amer developed a body of work consisting of canvases and embroidered installations as well as sculptures and gardens, through which her painting gradually asserted itself.
In 1999, she was invited by Harald Szeemann to exhibit at the Venice Biennale, where she received the UNESCO Prize for the Promotion of the Arts. Since 1996 she has lived and worked in New York.
At the Mucem - Fort Saint-Jean, Georges Henri Rivière building and the Jardin des Migrations:
From 2 December 2022 to 16 April 2023 (320 m²)
“Ghada Amer, East الغرب - - الشرق- West”
At the Mucem, the artist’s transcultural and international career takes centre stage: the so-called Orient, its perception by the West, the translatability of one culture into another, religion, and the status of women are all themes on which Ghada Amer delivers a personal, committed and nuanced vision, asserting herself as one of the great voices in the current debates on the post-colonial challenges of creative work. Ghada Amer’s first garden-sculpture, (in Arabic) “A Woman’s Voice Is Revolution”, is presented in the threshing area of the Fort’s gardens (from 17 September 2022 to 16 April 2023).
At the Frac Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur:
From 2 December 2022 until 26 February 2023 (1st floor stage – 280 m²)
“Ghada Amer, Witches and Bitches”
For Ghada Amer, the question of women transcends that of cultural or religious affiliation. Resolutely feminist, she has taken up the traditionally feminine medium of embroidery as a painter. Between homage and vindication, her paintings enter into a dialogue with the “masters” of an art history that has been dominated by men for too long. They develop under the sign of a jubilant creative power and a new interest for portraiture.
At the chapel of the Centre de la Vieille Charité, Musées de Marseille:
From 2 December 2022 to 16 April 2023
“Ghada Amer, Sculptor”
Through fascinating transfers from one technique to another, Ghada Amer’s pictorial experimentations invest the field of sculpture through installations and landscape sculptures, as well as ceramic and bronze works recently pushed in the direction of monumentality.