Friday, 22 May 2015

Lalla Essayadi

In her Bullets [and Bullets Revisited] series, Essaydi takes her creativity to another level, not only through the assiduous labour involved in the production of these photographs but also through the powerful imagery she presents. The models and their surroundings are elegantly adorned with sparkling golden fabrics and metallic materials, giving an impression of shimmering luxury. Upon closer inception, it is the military juxtapositions of carefully cut and polished bullet casings that build up these glamorous trompe l’oeil images.

Despite this apparent blinding beauty, where ammunition is even hand sewn on the models’ clothes, jewels, and beds, Essaydi uses the bullet as a disturbing metaphor for the hidden violence endured by women in some Islamic cultures. 

Talking about Orientalism, Essaydi has stated that “beauty is quite dangerous, as it lures the viewer into accepting the fantasy” yet she subverts the danger of beauty in her Bullets series by seducing the viewer in a much more perilous world, that of war and destruction raging through contemporary society with the Arab Spring.

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