September 26, 2009 – January 3, 2010
Decordova Museum and Sculpture Park
Lalla Essaydi is a New York-based, Moroccan-born photographer, painter, and installation artist. Over the past decade, she has risen to international prominence with her timely and beautiful work that deals with the condition of women in Islamic society, cross-cultural identity, Orientalism, and the history of art. Like her feminist Muslim expatriate contemporaries—Ghada Amer, Ambreen Butt, Emily Jacir, Sherin Neshat, and Shahzia Sikander—Essaydi has developed a powerful and personal artistic voice that calls into question prevailing myths, power hierarchies, and traditions that limit human freedom.
This solo exhibition at DeCordova is the first American museum presentation of Essaydi’s most recent body of work, Les Femmes du Maroc. Like her earlier photographic series, Converging Territories (2005), the images in Les Femmes du Maroc present Moroccan women in staged narratives. These women inhabit a place that is literally and entirely circumscribed by text, written directly on their bodies, apparel, and their surroundings by the artist herself