This month, the Maison Européenne de la photographie (MEP) in Paris will showcase the first solo retrospective of Moroccan photographer Hassan Hajjaj. For the occasion, MEP has given him carte blanche to recreate its spaces. Spanning his 30-year career, the exhibit will feature his renowned photo series, video works, sculptural installations, and furniture – expect rugs, wallpaper, and other everyday items like soft drink crates that become benches, paint pots that are positioned as stools, and tin cans that dangle like chandeliers.
The artist, who hails from Larache, splits his time between London and Morocco, with his work reflecting both cities’ influences. Kitsch, humorous, and always playful, his photo series, which launched in the Eighties, features veiled women interacting with pop art and fashion. The photos are often framed with products stemming from his home country’s consumer culture. Start the journey through the MEP in the Vogue: The Arab Issue room that spotlights his interest in fashion with tableaux referencing shoots taken in the medinas. Here, hijabi models wearing homegrown designs are photographed against colorful backgrounds. In the spirit of inclusiveness, Hajjaj has invited fellow Moroccan artists Zahrin Kahlo and Lamia Naji to share the space.
The Hassan Hajjaj retrospective will be on show at MEP in Paris from September 10 until November 16
Originally published in the September 2019 issue of Vogue Arabia