An exhibition of new work by Mona Hatoum will go on view at Tate Britain in the Duveen
Galleries on 24 March 2000. This will be her first major solo show in London and is the
first in a new series of sculpture displays by British artists in the Duveen Galleries. The
series highlights Tate Britains strong commitment to contemporary art and artists.
Responding to the architecture of the galleries, Hatoum has created large scale works
which reflect her current interest in everyday objects. These sculptures, focusing on
household objects, emphasise and yet undermine their character as aids to domestic
comfort and efficiency. Mouli-Julienne (x 21) is based on the French kitchen device for
slicing or shredding vegetables, but is dramatically enlarged. The threatening scale of this
piece reinforces the intensity of the object, where the shredding drum is intentionally large
enough to accommodate a human body. The artists transformation of this and other
domestic tools renders them beautiful, yet malevolent. Another new work uses domestic
furniture and kitchen implements but the additional element of live electrical currents
running through the objects makes them sinister.
The confrontational themes that Hatoum focuses on, such as violence and oppression,
often make powerful reference to the human body, its vulnerability and resilience. Through
the juxtaposition of opposites such as beauty and horror, Hatoum aims to engage the
viewer in conflicting emotions of desire and revulsion, fear and fascination.
Mona Hatoum was born a British citizen, to Palestinian parents, in Beirut in 1952. She
settled in London in 1975 after civil war broke out in Lebanon while she was on a visit to
Britain. After studying at the Byam Shaw and Slade Schools of art, she first became known
in the early 1980s for a series of performance and video pieces which focused with great
intensity on the body. Towards the end of that decade her work shifted towards installation
and sculpture including the video installation Corps étranger 1994 an endoscopic
journey through the artists body.
Hatoums work has been exhibited widely. In 1998 a solo exhibition, initiated by The
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago toured to The New Museum, New York, MoMA,
Oxford, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. Other solo exhibitions
include Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1994) and Castello di Rivoli, Turin (1999).
Hatoums work was included in Rites of Passage, Tate Gallery, London (1995) and in the
same year she was shortlisted for the Turner Prize.
An illustrated catalogue will be available with essays by cultural critic Edward Said and
Sheena Wagstaff, Head of Exhibitions and Display, Tate Britain (32pp, £12.99). The
exhibition is curated by Sheena Wagstaff with Clarrie Wallis, Programme Curator, Tate