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Hassan Hajjaj | Dakka Marrakesh (exhibition)

Solo show at Leighton House Museum. 2008
Date: 10 September, 2008 until 5 October, 2008
Curator: Rose Issa/Juliet Cestar
Organiser: Rose Issa

Major solo exhibition by Hassan Hajjaj, a British/Moroccan artist who divides his time between the two cities of London and Marrakesh.

Through the work in this exhibition - photographs, portraits, assemblage sculpture - Hajjaj asserts that he and other Moroccans inhabit cultural and social worlds that are every bit as complex and multilayered as those lived by people in the West. Simultaneously however, Hajjaj delights in utilising in his art symbols, motifs and icons of his native Morocco that signify difference. Chief amongst these, perhaps, are his photographs of veiled women of different ages and the liberal use of Arabic text and script within his assemblage sculpture and collages.

As Rose Issa, the exhibition’s organiser and co-curator stated in the exhibition catalogue: “Feeding off clichéd images, such as the veiled Muslim woman, at first glance Hajjaj seems to be creating Orientalist fantasies. Only on closer inspection do we see that the veils and jelabbah worn by his subjects are covered in fashion logos, thus forcing the viewer to question the very nature of stereotyping.

In one image, Ilham, a woman reclines on cushions in a room reminiscent of an Oriental harem. However, unlike the usually demure odalisques of art history, this one stares back at us, oozing with self-confidence. In Saeda, a pair of heavily made-up eyes gaze at the camera. The remainder of the head and face are hidden behind a “Louis Vuitton’ veil. Bejewelled hands painted with traditional henna cover Saeda’s ears. She is confident, relaxed “ suspended somewhere between the traditional and modern, between East and West.”

 

Related items

click to show details of Hassan Hajjaj | Dakka Marrakesh (announcement)

»  Hassan Hajjaj | Dakka Marrakesh (announcement)

Announcement relating to an exhibition, 2008

click to show details of Hassan Hajjaj | Dakka Marrakesh (catalogue)

»  Hassan Hajjaj | Dakka Marrakesh (catalogue)

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2008

click to show details of Hassan Hajjaj | Dakka Marrakesh (Private View card)

»  Hassan Hajjaj | Dakka Marrakesh (Private View card)

Announcement relating to an exhibition, 2008

People in this exhibition

»  Hassan Hajjaj

Born, 1961 in Larache, Morocco

»  Rose Issa

Exhibition venues

»  Leighton House Museum

London, United Kingdom