Ghiora Aharoni

b. 1969 in Rehovot, Israel
Working in New York, NY, United States of America
Showing at Asia Society Museum
On view October 27, 2020, through February 7, 2021
Antique angarkha, hand embroidered with the Hindru© phrase (the artist’s combination of Hindi and Urdu) “Thank God For Making Me Woman” on the exterior, and “Thank God For Making Me Woman” in Hebrabic© (the artist’s combination of Hebrew and Arabic) on the interior

Ghiora Aharoni, Thank God for Making Me a Woman, III, 2019. Antique angarkha, hand embroidered with the Hindru© phrase (the artist’s combination of Hindi and Urdu) “Thank God For Making Me Woman” on the exterior, and “Thank God For Making Me Woman” in Hebrabic© (the artist’s combination of Hebrew and Arabic) on the interior, antique silver cuffs, antique silver brooch assemblage. H. 67 x W. 48 x D. 20 in. (170.2 x 122 x 50.8 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Photograph: Ghiora Aharoni Studio ©2019

Location: Asia Society Museum
Ghiora Aharoni, Thank God for Making Me a Woman, I, 2017

Ghiora Aharoni, Thank God for Making Me a Woman, I, 2017. Hindru© phrase (the artist's combination of Hindi and Urdu) hand embroidered on antique angarkha. Frame: H. 48 x W. 68 x D. 3 in. (121.9 x 172.7 x 7.6 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Photography: Ghiora Aharoni ©2017

Location: Asia Society Museum
Ghiora Aharoni, Thank God for Making Me a Woman, II, 2017

Ghiora Aharoni, Thank God for Making Me a Woman, II, 2017. Hindru© phrase (the artist's combination of Hindi and Urdu) hand embroidered on antique angarkha. Frame: H. 48 x W. 68 x D. 3 in. (121.9 x 172.7 x 7.6 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Photography: Ghiora Aharoni ©2017

Location: Asia Society Museum
Ghiora Aharoni, Thank God for Making Me a Woman, III (detail), 2019

Ghiora Aharoni, Thank God for Making Me a Woman, III (detail), 2019. Antique angarkha, hand embroidered with the Hindru© phrase (the artist’s combination of Hindi and Urdu) “Thank God For Making Me Woman” on the exterior, and “Thank God For Making Me Woman” in Hebrabic© (the artist’s combination of Hebrew and Arabic) on the interior, antique silver cuffs, antique silver brooch assemblage. H. 67 x W. 48 x D. 20 in. (170.2 x 122 x 50.8 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Photograph: Ghiora Aharoni Studio ©2019

Location: Asia Society Museum
Ghiora Aharoni, For You, I Declare, 2013

Ghiora Aharoni, For You, I Declare, 2013. Antique phulkari hand embroidered with the artist’s drawings of India and excerpts from his mother’s letters from the 1950s. H. 59 x W. 98 in. (149.9 x 248.9 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Photography: Anil Rane ©2013

Ghiora Aharoni, With You I Make My Home, 2013

Ghiora Aharoni, With You I Make My Home, 2013. Antique phulkari, hand embroidered with the artist’s drawings of India and excerpts from his mother’s letters from the 1950s. H. 51 x W. 100 in. (129.5 x 254 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Photography: Anil Rane ©2013

Ghiora Aharoni’s multifaceted practice contextualizes sociopolitical histories through an investigation of how found, often culturally specific artifacts, sacred texts, and languages can reveal and challenge patriarchal notions of gender and religion. His work often juxtaposes objects from seemingly disparate cultures as a means to provoke dialogue. This is exemplified by the artist’s exploration of intercultural connectivity through his creation of Hindru©, a hybridization of Hindi and Urdu, and Hebrabic©, which similarly merges Hebrew and Arabic into functioning texts. The artist received a BA in architecture from the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at City College, New York, in 1998, and an MA in architecture from Yale University, New Haven, in 2001. 


Thank God for Making Me a Woman is a series of three antique angarkhas (a muslin robe traditionally worn by men in the ancient principalities of India) hand embroidered with the phrase “Thank God for Making Me Woman” written in Hindru©. Thank God for Making Me a Woman, III also includes an embroidered inscription of “Thank God For Making Me a Woman” in Hebrabic©. According to the artist, this expression is a subversion of “Thank God for Not Making Me a Woman,” a traditional daily prayer recited by Orthodox Jewish men, which the artist was taught early in his life. The sewing of this altered text by male artisans of Muslim faith in India onto a garment traditionally worn by Indian men highlights the ways in which cultural attitudes towards gender are not only historically and geographically specific, but also shared among patriarchal societies across space and time. 

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