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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Maker(s):Essaydi, Lalla
Culture:Moroccan, born 1956
Title:Les femmes du Maroc #14
Date Made:2005
Materials:C41 print mounted on aluminum
Measurements:overall: 34 1/8 in x 40 1/8 in x 1 1/8 in; 86.6775 cm x 101.9175 cm x 2.8575 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2007.13
Credit Line:Purchase with Wise Fund for Fine Arts

Edition 2/15

Label Text:
Essaydi's photography addresses issues of female identity, challenges the restrictions placed on women in many Arab societies, and criticizes the Orientalist tradition of exoticizing and eroticizing Eastern women. In achieving the latter, Essaydi adapts poses from well-known art historical works. This photograph, for instance, references Edouard Manet's Olympia, one of the most famous paintings of reclining nude women.

The other key to understanding Essaydi's Les femmes du Maroc series lies in the text, which is written directly on the models, their coverings, and the backdrops. Her writing celebrates the beauty of Muslim culture while challenging women's place in it. The text is calligraphy, which is practiced only by men in Essaydi's native Morocco, but it is written in henna, a material associated with women and bodily adornment.

MD, 2013

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