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"Mona Hatoum. Works 1991 - 2002"
2002-10-03 until 2002-01-05
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea
Santiago, , ES Spain

There are several aspects to Mona Hatoumīs work in this exhibition with display the essential elements of her artistic development from the mid-1990īs. Since the beginning of her career a notable characteristic has been the continuing evolution of her exploration of the subtle but powerful relation between aesthetics, ethics and politics.

"... most people look for a very specific meaning, mostly wanting to explain [my work] specifically in relation to my background. I find it more exciting when a work reverberates with several meanings and paradoxes and contradictions. Explaining it as meaning this or that inevitably turns it into something fixed rather than something in a state of flux. A work of art has two aspects: the natural, physical aspect, which I think of as the conscious aspect that the artist can manipulate and shape; and then there is the very complex cultural and unconscious aspect of the art work. This is rich and full of meanings and associations, and it is as impossible to explain fully or comprehend as an individual or the social subconscious. Years after (...) I still discover interesting associations, sometimes pointed out to me by viewers."

Interview by Michael Archer. Phaidon Press Limited, 1997

Avoiding political and moral demagogy, Mona Hatoum favours a more individual and intimist approach, which is, nevertheless, politically (in)formed. She places herself, and the viewer, in a privileged position to consider the complex phenomena of daily life. The building up of that position becomes the core of her research. She achieves this both from within her personal artistic discourse, and from within the art system itself.

Her work emerges mainly from daily life, unhampered by the conventions of public and private or intimate and institutional. She manipulates household objects and the human body making use of a variety of materials: industrial, natural and even the immaterial: soap, corrugated iron, glass beads, hair, memories or images. She operates on different scales from the miniature to the grand; she questions arbitrary boundaries from maps to cages to borders. All this leads us to realise that Mona Hatoum is not simply producing one more piece of art but rather redefining the core of her own work. Moreover in each exhibition she is not just showing new languages or themes, but is also creating symbolic and communal positions and "platforms".

Mona Hatoum was born in 1952, Beirut, Lebanon. Currently based in London from where she travels to her numerous artistic residences and site-specific projects. These constant travelling is essential for creating the conditions for her work.

Mona Hatoum
Grater Divide, 2002

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