Works of art have the power to prompt, provoke, and illuminate. In a series of lunchtime talks titled In This Moment, Carlos curators and Emory faculty and graduate students discuss works of art that reflect the complex social issues of their time and place.
In this lecture, Brittany Landorf, a PhD student in Emory's Graduate Division of Religion, examines a piece in the exhibition Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place by Moroccan-born contemporary artist Lalla Essaydi, Harem 1. Ms. Landorf will contextualize Harem 1 within Essaydi's larger body of work, situating its appropriation and subversion of 19th-century European depictions of the Muslim world within the artist's critique of the Orientalist gaze and its fantasies of Muslim women. Yet, as Ms. Landorf discusses, Harem 1's narratives of space, use of embodied Islamic calligraphy, and reversal of the gaze also reimagine the place of women in Moroccan society, joining in a rich history of feminist critique in the country.