Lalla Essaydi: Harem & Bullets Revisited
Jackson Fine Art is pleased to announce Harem Revisited, a solo exhibition of photographs by Lalla Essaydi on view from May 9th through July 3rd, 2014. This will be Essaydi's third exhibition at Jackson Fine Art. “The physical harem is the dangerous frontier where sacred law and pleasure collide. This is not the harem of the Western Orientalist imagination, an anxietyfree place of euphoria and the absence of constraints, where the word “harem” has lost its dangerous edge. My harem is based on the historical reality; rather then the artistic images of the West – an idyllic, lustful dream of sexually available women, uninhibited by the moral constraints of 19th Century Europe.” Lalla Essaydi, 2010 Essaydi’s work explores Islamic female identity through the unique perspective of personal experience. Born and raised in Morocco, she looks to her past as well as the representations of women in 19th century Orientalist painting to create a critical discourse with which to understand and express the complexities of the role of the modern Islamic woman. Essaydi is known for the beautiful, hand-drawn Arabic calligraphy - a sacred Islamic art form that is traditionally inaccessible to women - that adorn the skin, fabric, paper and surfaces within her images. Her subjects speak through the autobiographical texts written on their bodies and enable Essaydi to share her thoughts and experiences as a woman caught between modernity and tradition.