Whitney Hale

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College: Art Museum

Photographer Who Challenges Women, Muslim Stereotypes Visits UK

Published: Nov 14, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2012) — Known for breaking gender barriers with her work, Lalla Essaydi will be the next artist to present for the 2012-2013 Robert C. May Photography Endowment Lecture Series presented by the Art Museum at the University of Kentucky. Essaydi's free public lecture begins at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in the Worsham Theater, at the UK Student Center. A free public exhibition of Essaydi's work will be on display in the Art Museum at UK Nov. 16 through Dec. 23.

 

In her lyrical representations of the female body, Essaydi employs a visual language rooted in her childhood in Morocco, where public spaces were defined by men, and women were confined to the private region of the home. In her photographs, women literally become part of the space they inhabit: she covers them in Islamic calligraphy that extends to the walls, furniture and drapes, or garbs them in marvelous patterns that merge into surrounding mosaics.

 

As a contemporary artist, Essaydi also contests sexualized Western stereotypes of the harem seen in 19th-century Orientalist painting. "In my art, I wish to present myself through multiple lenses — as artist, as Moroccan, as Saudi, as traditionalist, as liberal, as Muslim," said Essaydi. "In short, I invite the viewer to resist stereotypes."

 

The May Lecture Series explores photography's roots in the 19th century and its reinvention in the digital world. The lecture series is made possible through the Robert C. May Photography Endowment, a museum fund established in 1994 for the support of acquisitions and programs relating to photography. Other photographers coming to town as part of the series include Hank Willis Thomas and Martha Rosler.

 

For more information on the Lalla Essaydi lecture or the 2012-2013 Robert C. May Photography Endowment Lecture Series, contact the Art Museum at UK at (859) 257-5716 or visit www.uky.edu/ArtMuseum.

 

The Art Museum at UK is located in the Singletary Center for the Arts at the corner of Rose St. and Euclid Ave. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects, including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from their permanent collection.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716 or whitney.hale@uky.edu

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