The Art and Politics of Ghada Amer: Chika Okeke-Agulu

3pm, 1 August 2010

The lecture will discuss the work of the internationally renowned New York-based Egyptian artist, Ghada Amer, specifically how her images of lesbian and autoerotic female figures can be read as a critique of the erosion of women’s freedom in the wake of the re-emergence of radical Islam in Egypt since the early 1980s. Despite her residence in the west and the usual tendency in the scholarship to situate her work in strictly western feminist discourse, I argue that her work is more deeply engaged in the politics of Egyptian and Arab identities and subjectivities.

Ghada Amer (b. 1963). She earned a B.F.A. in 1986 and an M.F.A. in 1989 from École Pilote Internationale d’Art et de Recherche, Villa Arson, Nice, France. In 1997 she was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, and in 1999, she received the UNESCO award at the Venice Biennale. She has had solo exhibitions at San Francisco Art Institute; De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam; Indianapolis Museum of Art, and Gagosian Gallery, New York and group shows at such venues as Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C.; İstanbul Modern Sanat Müzesi; She participated in the Johannesburg Biennale in 1997, the Venice Biennale in 1999; the Kwangju Biennale, South Korea, and the Whitney Biennial, both in 2000; and the Venice Biennale in 2005. Amer’s work can be found in numerous prominent collections including the following: Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf; and Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

The lectures are made possible by the Class of ’59 Faculty Fund, Princeton University.

Who Knows Tomorrow at the National gallery, Berlin: Chika Okeke-Agulu

3pm, 25 July 2010

Discusses on the project concept and the curatorial process of the art exhibition Who Knows Tomorrow, which consists of five independent projects by five African artists—El Anatsui, Zarina Bhimji, Antonio Ole, Yinka Shonibare, and Pascale Marthine Tayou—at four museums of the Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany. The lecture will cover issues around presentation of contemporary African art and artists in mainstream Western museums, as well as the politics of representation and identity in the age of globalization.

Chika Okeke-Agulu is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and Assistant Professor of art history in the Department of Art and Archaeology, and Center for African American Studies, Princeton University. In 2007, he served as the Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor, Williams College. He co-organized Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa (Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1995), The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994 (Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, 2001), Life Objects: Rites of Passage in African Art (Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, 2010), and Who Knows Tomorrow (Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2010),

His writings on African and African Diaspora art and artists have appeared in South Atlantic Quarterly, Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, Glendora Review, African Arts, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Art South Africa, and in edited volumes. He is co-author (with Okwui Enwezor) of Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Damiani, 2009), co-editor of Who Knows Tomorrow (König, 2010), and editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art.
The lectures are made possible by the Class of ’59 Faculty Fund, Princeton University

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