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Mona Hatoum
A major survey including new work
26 March – 31 May 2004

Altbau | Kuppel and
Gallery of Contemporary Art

This is the largest survey exhibition of the work of Mona Hatoum, and her first one-person exhibition in Germany. In Europe and Northern America, Hatoum has long been recognized as one of the most important artistic figures of her generation. Born in 1952 to Palestinian parents in Lebanon, Hatoum has lived and worked in London since 1975.

Life on the move, away from her home country, has made Mona Hatoum sensitive to matters pertaining to power relationships and questions of identity. She was born in Lebanon in 1952, the daughter of Palestinian parents and has been living in London since 1975. In her sculpture, video and installation work she repeatedly addresses the vulnerability of the individual in relation to the violence inherent in institutional power structures. Her primary point of reference is the human body, sometimes using her own body – not only in her performances, but also in her video works and installations.

Since the early 1990s Hatoum has been producing large installations which succeed in arousing in the viewer contradictory feelings of attraction and repulsion, fear and fascination. Light Sentence, Corps étranger, Quarters, Homebound are some of her most ambitious installations and are included in this exhibition. These key works combine performative and interactive approaches of her early years with a formal language that derives its vocabulary from minimalist sculpture and conceptual art, which at the same time is charged with personal and political content.

Mona Hatoum commits herself totally and literally to her art. Her choice of particular materials is arrived at in relation to the content, and the range of materials she uses would appear to be completely inexhaustible: steel and plastic, textiles and soap, electricity and magnetism, found household utensils and disposable items, glass and rubber ... Hatoum thus fashions an artistic language in which familiar everyday commodities are transformed into strange and threatening devices.

Hatoum’s works are analogous to human existence – vividly formulated but at the same time complex and mysterious. As she puts it: "You first experience an artwork physically. I like the work to operate on both sensual and intellectual levels. Meanings, connotations and associations come after the initial physical experience as your imagination, intellect, psyche are fired off by what you’ve seen."

This first comprehensive presentation of Hatoum’s work in Germany is taking place in the Hamburger Kunsthalle. Around sixty works from international collections provide an overview of the artist’s highly varied and imaginative oeuvre. Lookout, a new site-specific work, conceived by Hatoum for the Hamburger Kunsthalle, has been realized for the monumental Domed Hall.

Hatoum's work has been exhibited widely in Europe, the United States and Canada. In 1997 a survey of her work was organised by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and toured to The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, MoMA, Oxford and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (1998). Hatoum's exhibition 'The Entire World as a Foreign Land' was the inaugural exhibition for the launch of Tate Britain, London in 2000. Other solo exhibitions include Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris in 1994, Castello di Rivoli, Turin (1999), 'Domestic Disturbance', Site Santa Fe and Mass MoCA (2000-2001), and a survey of her work at the Centro de Arte de Salamanca and the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Spain (2002-03). Hatoum is currently artist in residence on the DAAD program in Berlin (Berliner Künstlerprogramm, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst). Mona Hatoum is the 2004 winner of the prestigious Sonning Prize awarded every two years by the University of Copenhagen

The exhibition is a collaboration between Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kunstmuseum Bonn and Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall. It will be shown in Bonn from 17 June until August 29th, 2004 and in Stockholm, from 9 September until 19. December 2004. A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

Exhibition curator: Dr. Christoph Heinrich

Research for the catalogue has been generously supported by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, Hamburg.
Supported by the British Council and die tageszeitung. taz nord


Mona Hatoum

Mona Hatoum

Mona Hatoum

Mona Hatoum

Mona Hatoum

Mona Hatoum

Hamburger Kunsthalle Glockengießerwall 20095 Hamburg
Telephone 040 - 428 131 200 Facsimile 040 - 428 54 34 09