This exhibition brings together three of Essaydi’s most powerful photographic series: Les Femmes du Maroc, Harem and Harem Revisited.
Lalla Essaydi was born and raised in Morocco and educated in the West before moving to Saudi Arabia for several years. The United States-based artist explores issues of gender, cross-cultural identity and the prevalent myths of Orientalism. Working across multiple disciplines—including painting, video, installation and photography—Essaydi challenges the social norms and hierarchies that shaped her life as a young girl in Morocco.
This exhibition comprises more than 20 large-scale color photographs, including several of Essaydi’s iconic multi-panel works. The images present Moroccan women in a range of staged narratives that explore contemporary power structures, while also confronting conventional representations of Arab women, formed in part by Western perceptions of Islamic culture.
In her photographs, Essaydi explores spaces both real and symbolic. Raised in a traditional Muslim household, which included designated areas just for women, Essaydi is intimately familiar with how Arab women’s personal histories are interlinked with segregated spaces. Traditionally in Islamic culture, men move about freely in public spaces, while women are often confined to private realms, away from public view. Over time, physical borders come to define social hierarchies and for women, stepping outside these boundaries, literal or otherwise, can lead to confinement in an actual space. Through her creative practices, Essaydi has come to understand how these longstanding cultural mores have informed her views as an artist and as a woman living between two worlds.
Opening reception with the artist: Friday, October 26, 7 – 9 pm
Artist talk: Saturday October 27, 3 – 5 PM
Venue: Sundaram Tagore Singapore, 5 Lock Road 01-05, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108933
When: 26 Oct - 15 Dec 2018,