Mona Hatoum

(b. 1952)

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(1952– )

Palestinian installation artist, active in Britain. She was born in Beirut and after civil war broke out in 1975, she moved to London, where she studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art. She has said: ‘My work is about my experience of living in the West as a person from the Third World, about being an outsider, about occupying a marginal position, being excluded, being defined as “Other” or as one of “Them”.’ Some critics have related this very specifically to Hatoum's experience as a Palestinian, but she has preferred to think of it as being concerned with a more general sense of being displaced. Light Sentence (1992, Pompidou Centre) consists of two rows of tiny cages stacked high, lit so as to throw fantastic shadows on the wall. The sense of the body itself being made strange is realized most powerfully in Corps Etranger (1994, Pompidou Centre). This is a cylindrical enclosure which can be entered by the viewer. Projected on the floor is a film of the interior of Hatoum's own body, investigated by an endoscopic medical scan. In her installation Homebound (2000) she used domestic objects from the 1950s, the period of her childhood. These were placed behind thick cable and wired to make them gyrate and light up.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/johntusainterview/hatoum_transcript.shtml Mona Hatoum interview with John Tusa, BBC website.

Subjects: Art.

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