For the past six years, Moroccan-born photographer Lalla Essaydi has labored over a body of photographs made in a large, unoccupied home in her native country. She splits her time between Morocco and the U.S., transporting materials ranging from fabrics to bullet castings to a property owned by her family. The house is not just a distant studio space, though; it is a vital part of the narrative in Ms. Essaydi’s images that explore the Arab female identity. The vacant family home where her photographs are made once served as disciplinary space, where a young woman was sent when she disobeyed by stepping beyond the “permissible space.” The woman would spend a month alone in the house, where she was not spoken to by anyone, including the servants who were her only company.
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