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Intelligence Mona Hatoum

The Tate Modern’s showcase of Mona Hatoum’s 35 years of work is an essential exhibition to see this summer in London until the 21st of August. Hatoum’s engaging and juxtaposing work is displayed in a curated space of over 10 rooms of the Tate Modern.

Mona Hatoum's work is well known for her challenging visuals of surrealism, exposing the world’s conflicts. Hatoum was born in Palestine and moved to London in 1975 after a civil war broke out in Lebanon. She began studying at Slade School of art in 1979 where her work began to develop into ideas based around race, gender and politics. Her work has continuity, with a strong theme of bringing together opposing opposites. Hatoum’s influential and poetic works show thoughts behind radical thinking and explore the fine line between fear and fascination.

The exhibition showcases a variety of Hatoum’s work with many large scale and interactive installations. She uses many differing mediums within her work including human hair, magnet fragments and blown glass, making each piece very diverse and engaging to the eye. Although not shown in chronological order, the exhibition space flows with each piece connecting and interlinking with each other. Her ideas behind contrasting elements become particularly clear towards the end of the exhibition where these ideas become much more literal, making a statement rather than just a subtle undertone. This worked well as it created a clear narrative guiding the viewer within the space, clearly showing how Hatoum challenges assumptions.

All art works © Mona Hatoum

Credit for thumbnail:

Hot Spot III 2009 Stainless steel, neon tube Photo: Agostino Osio, Courtesy Fondazione Querini Stampalia Onlus, Venice ©Mona Hatoum

Mona Hatoum Grater Divide 2002 Grater Divide


Mild steel

204 x 3.5 cm x variable width

© Photo Iain Dickens, Courtesy White Cube

© Mona Hatoum

Mona_145_Undercurrent (red) 2008 Photo Stefan Rohner_41B0416 Undercurrent (red)


Electrical wires covered in fabric, with light bulbs and dimmer switch, variable dimensions

Photo Stefan Rohner, Courtesy Kunstmuseum St. Gallen

©Mona Hatoum

Mona_Hatoum_Light Sentence2 - Copy

Light Sentence 1992

Galvanised wire mesh lockers, electric motor and light bulb

198 x 185 x 490

Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris:

Mnam-CCI / Dist RMN-GP

Photo: Philippe Migeat

© Mona Hatoum

Over My Dead Body 2

Over My Dead Body


Inkjet on paper

204 x 304

© Courtesy of the artist


Homebound 2000

Kitchen utensils, furniture, electrical wire, light bulbs,

dimmer unit, amplifier and two speakers

Dimensions variable

Courtesy Rennie Collection, Vancouver

© Mona Hatoum

Posted by
Max Siteman