In 2019, Hassan Hajjaj transforms the Maison Européenne de la Photographie into the Maison Marocaine de la Photographie. This major exhibition, reflecting a 30-year career, will feature all of Hajjaj’s most important photographic series as well as video works, sculptural installations and furniture. The exhibition presents an opportunity for Hajjaj to transform all of the spaces within the museum. Even the educational spaces and new bookshop will be included, in a real first for the MEP.
After the MEP, the exhibition will be presented at Fotografiska in Stockholm, New York, Tallinn and London.
The exhibition has been produced in collaboration with Fotografiska, and we are proud to have produced Hassan’s works, as Lambda C-type prints for the exhibition.
PART 1 – VOGUE : THE ARAB ISSUE
The first room highlights the artist’s interest in the world of fashion and clothes— as well as its contradictions. The works on display reference, with some irony, the regular fashion shoots that take place for magazines in the Medina of Marrakesh and Casablanca. However, instead of the European models who are usually photographed, Hassan Hajjaj presents a series of portraits of Moroccan women wearing his own designs, which are most often influenced by traditional Moroccan clothing.
These posed tableau are accompanied by portraits showing women wearing traditional Hijabs, and are echoed by a series of hand-painted portraits also depicting veiled women, against vividly coloured backgrounds.
PART 2 – U-LOT INSTALLATION; “LEGS”, “GNAWI RIDERS” AND “KESH ANGELS” SERIES
Vogue: The Arab Issue is followed by works from different series, as well as a new video installation titled U-LOT, where Hajjaj pursues his exploration of the ambiguous status of the veil in contemporary society. In conjunction he shows the “Legs” series, featuring photographs that are cropped in an unusual way, highligh- ting the legs of models wearing clothes with very different cultural origins. This work marks a transition between the first part of the exhibition, which is rooted in the world of fashion and clothing in general, and the rest of the show which is more focused on the daily lives and lifestyles of the models. In these images traditional items and major luxury brand logos are seen side by side.
PART 3 – MY ROCKSTARS
The series “My Rockstars” is a vibrant tribute to the personalities that form the backdrop for Hajjaj’s cultural life from London, North Africa and elsewhere: not only internationally famous artists, but also friends and acquaintances of Hassan Hajjaj who are unknown to the general public. Most of the models, selected subjectively by the artist, are musicians working in a variety of styles, for example hip-hop, jazz and gnawa.
PART 4 – BLACK AND WHITE PORTRAITS
The exhibition ends with an extensive selection of never previously exhibited photographs in black and white from throughout Hajjaj’s long career: these portraits, group photographs, and more documentary-like street scenes are in marked contrast to the colourful photographs that precede them in the show.
But whatever the series, the model or the colour of the photograph, Hassan Hajjaj reminds us: “I wanted to show the world what I saw of the country and its people – the energy, the attitude; the inventiveness and glamour of street fashion; the fantastic graphics on everyday objects and products; people’s happy outlook and strength of character”.
TRANSFORMATION OF THE MEP INTO THE MAISON MAROCAINE DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE
Hassan Hajjaj is occupying all the spaces at the MEP for the exhibition from the Ateliers Pedagogiques to the Shop and Café. He is also inviting to two Moroccan guest artists who will be presenting their work successively in the Studio: Zahrin Kahlo (11.09-13.10) and Lamia Naji (18.10-17.11).
To make the MEP a real ‘Maison Marocaine’ Hajjaj will invest the building with his unique world, presenting his wallpapers, rugs, furniture, objects and clothes.
Maison Marocaine de la Photographie at Maison Européenne de la photographie (MEP)
September 10 until November 16
5/7 Rue de Fourcy