Lalla Essaydi

Art reflects on various takes on the mundane. In addition, in the case of photographer Lalla Essaydi, art explores the relationship between context and identity. In this series of captivating photographs, the artist seems to me to be exploring the creation of gender and perception through cultural coding.

The words, letters, traditional garments seem to invent and construct our understanding of what it means to be a female / “woman”. So much so, that in some photographs it seems difficult to tell the difference/limit lines between the model/female and the context around her.

On yet another deeper level of analysis, the photographs comment on the traditionally “quiet” female. While the female is silent, calmly leaning and smiling without saying anything, the words and patterns on her body lend her an ability, though limited, to speak and express herself. Or do they? These provocative pieces offer the chance of interesting questions and discussions.


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(Note: This article was originally published in 2016. Due to a server crash in 2018, it was deleted and reposted.)