Each of Mona Hatoum's works can be read as a formula for human existence, expressed in a penetrating visual language that is both complex and puzzling. As the artist herself points out, iOneis first experience of a work of art is physical. I appreciate works that have sensual as well as intellectual impact. Meanings, connotations, and associations begin to emerge only after the initial physical experience, when the imagination, the intellect, and the psyche are ignited by what one has seen.i The daughter of Palestinian parents, Hatoum has long been regarded in Great Britain and the U.S. as one of the most important artists of her generation. Born in Lebanon in 1952 and a resident of London since 1975, her sensitivity to themes of power and identity has been heightened by a life lived outside her homeland. Many of her objects, video pieces, and installations deal with aspects of institutionalized violence and the vulnerability of the individual; her central point of reference is the body, in many cases her own. This is the first book to document the full breadth of Mona Hatoum's oeuvre, up to and including her most recent projects.
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Born in the Lebanon, Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum was exiled to London, where she has lived and worked since the mid 1970s and where, in 1995, she was nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize. Through performance, video, sculpture and installation she creates architectonic spaces which relate to the body, language and the condition of exile. One of her most spellbinding and best known works is a video installation titled Corps etranger, where the spectator enters a small pavilion and takes a visual journey through all the orifices of the artist's body. Such works combine states of emotion and longing with the formal simplicity of Minimalism, creating powerful evocations of displacement, denial and otherness. Hatoum's many international exhibitions include the Centre Georges Pompidou, in Paris (1994); her work tours extensively to museums throughout the United States in 1997. The distinguished British critic Guy Brett, explores key themes around a sense of place, the body and communication which emerge from Hatoum's range of work. The artist describes a chronology of practice in conversation with Michael Archer, writer, curator and co-founder of London's Audio Arts sound archive. Catherine de Zegher makes a complex and provocative analysis of Recollection, a work she commissioned for a sixteenth-century beguinage. Hatoum has chosen a text by the influential Palestinian author Edward Said as well as a statement from the noted Italian post-war sculptor and performance artist, Piero Manzoni. The book also includes Hatoum's own notes, statements and previous interviews.About the Author:
Mona Hatoum was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1952 and came to London in 1975. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1995 and has had solo exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Castello di Rivoli in Turin, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and Tate Britain, among others. She recently curated Artist's Choice at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
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