Lalla Essaydi: Un/Veiled

Lalla Essaydi (Moroccan, born 1956), "Converging Territories #22," 2004

This exhibition highlights the work of Lalla Essaydi, a Moroccan photographer who captures large-scale intimate portraits of Arab women. Essaydi adorns her sitters and, at times, their environment with Arabic calligraphy. Essaydi’s work confronts gender inequality issues of the East, as well as, the voyeuristic gaze of the West, often appropriating Orientalist imagery such as “the veil, the odalisque, and the harem.” Boldly feminist at its core, Essaydi’s oeuvre unveils the dynamic experiences, identities, and cultural histories of her sitters. This installation features over 10 years of work from nearly every series in Essaydi’s career: Converging Territories (2003-2004), Les Femmes du Maroc (2005-2007), Harem (2009), and Bullets (2009-2017).

Lalla Essaydi (Moroccan, born 1956), Converging Territories #22, 2004

Lalla Essaydi (Moroccan, born 1956), Harem Revisited #32B, 2012

Organized by the Norton Museum of Art.

Support for this exhibition was provided by the William and Sarah Ross Soter Photography Fund.