I am nearly through with the final revisions that I have to make on my seminar paper. I’m writing about (Have I already said this here? Forgive me.) two particular websites that post weekly recaps of Gossip Girl and how those function as spaces for interpretation, politicization, and reimagining (of a very specific demographic) of the show’s fans, and the implications of that. It’s more complex than I’m making it sound, but pretty much I’m ready to just be done with it.
I went shopping with a friend today during the day (bribing ourselves is the only way to make it through, usually) and came home with some goodies, this headband/hat/headpiece/veil included.
Husband has gone to bed. The cat is asleep. I am left up alone and motivation-less to finish this. (Well, that’s not entirely true. I did turn the heater off as motivation. It hasn’t been above freezing here in nearly a week.) Hence, I’m wearing the headband.
Also, I really need a haircut.
These photographs embody so much of what interests me – women, gender, identity, North Africa, the Muslim world, Orientalism, and calligraphy. Each photograph is based on an American or French Orientalist painting (can you guess which ones?), but Essaydi’s subversive approach removes men from the picture – as well as the nudity, opulence, rich color, and signals of social status that the original renderings possess. The subjects and their surroundings are covered from head to toe with henna calligraphy.
Also from P.’s blog, but excerpted from the gallery’s introduction to the artist, Lalla Essaydi:
“I am writing. I am writing on me, I am writing on her. The story began to be written the moment the present began.” Translated from the original Arabic, Essaydi’s personal writing subverts traditional Muslim gender stereotypes through the presence of the written word. The sacred Islamic art form of calligraphy, traditionally reserved exclusively for men, is employed by Essaydi as a small act of defiance against a culture in which women are relegated to the private sphere. Crossing a prohibited cultural threshold through the act of writing, Les Femmes du Maroc enables the artist and her subjects to engage in a simple act of self-expression.
Sorry for not being more cohesive tonight, but that’s about all I’ve got left in me. More over the weekend, pinky swearz.