Saturday, February 3, 2018 (All day) - Wednesday, April 11, 2018 (All day)
Williams Center Gallery
Lalla Essaydi

“I wish to present myself through multiple lenses—as artist, as Moroccan, as traditionalist, as Liberal, as Muslim. In short, I invite the viewer to resist stereotypes.”

Lalla Essaydi's sumptuous explorations of the image of woman in Islamic society address the complex reality of Arab female identity from the unique perspective of personal experience.

As a Muslim woman who grew up in Morocco, raised her family in Saudi Arabia, and relocated to France and finally the United States, the artist has profound firsthand perspectives into cross-cultural identity politics. Essaydi also weaves together a rich roster of culturally embedded materials and practices—including the odalisque form, Arabic calligraphy, henna, textiles, and bullets—to illuminate the narratives that have been associated with Muslim women throughout time and across cultures. By placing Orientalist fantasies of Arab women and Western stereotypes in dialogue with lived realities, Essaydi presents identity as the culmination of these legacies, yet something that also expands beyond culture, iconography, and stereotypes.


Lalla Essaydi is presented in conjunction with Tapestries: Voices Within Contemporary Muslim Cultures. The exhibition and February 27 & 28 resdiency is supported in part by Tapestries, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, programs and departments including Anthropology and Sociology, History, Women and Gender Studies, Africana Studies, the Department of Art’s Grossman Visiting Artist series and the Lafayette Art Galleries.

Sponsored by: 
Lafayette Art Galleries, Tapestries