Walid Layadi-Marfouk’s biographical photographs are concerned with mischaracterized singular identities of Islam in western media. Avoiding depictions and claims of a ‘general Muslim experience’, Walid attempts to shift the paradigm and bring diversity to a Western-centric conversation revolving around anonymous Middle-Eastern representations of pain and submission. Through the construction of a personal visual syntax, he tries to dissociate these individualities from preconceptions embedded in traditional Western imagery. His subjects are exclusively his relatives and himself, all pictured in his great-grandfather’s ancestral home in Marrakech.
The world he portrays in his work is a self-contained environment, an island of autonomy and power in which the viewer can perceive a sliver of Islamic culture, the way the artist did and still does in Morocco. His exhibitions include Riad, The Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton (2017), and upcoming exhibitions include Riad, French Consulate, Marrakech and Africa is no Island, Musée d’Art Africain Contemporain Al Maaden – MACAAL.