In 2022, the world is still in turmoil, with nations and people unable to reach consensus over conflicting interests such as territory, borders or religion, choosing instead to go to war. The war between Russia and Ukraine, which broke out at the end of February this year, has once again raised fears, with its images of artillery fire and smoke broadcast daily on news channels all across the world. Many families have been forced to leave their homes and have become displaced, and the conflict has caused political and economic turmoil worldwide. It is hard to imagine cities and towns, normally peaceful and quiet, reduced to ruins overnight. This tense, uncertain condition is a theme that runs throughout the work of Mona Hatoum, the subject of this exhibition; an artist who reflects on the state of our current global situation.
Hatoum was born in 1952 to a Palestinian family in Beirut. During a visit to London in 1975, The Lebanese Civil War broke out, preventing her from returning and resulting in her living and working for the most part in the UK from that period onwards. Experiencing the cultural shock of a new, foreign country, Hatoum began to feel out of place, and was compelled to re-examine her position as an 'outsider'. Hatoum's works often draw on her personal experience, while alluding to broader issues of rootlessness, alienation and social unrest. With reference to both minimalism and conceptual art, she frequently transforms familiar objects such as chairs, cribs and kitchen utensils into unfamiliar, dangerous and even threatening objects, juxtaposing conflicting emotions of desire and repulsion, fascination and fear to challenge the viewer's perception.
Hatoum's artworks are currently housed in several internationally renowned institutions and have been on display at many major museums and galleries including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art; the Joan Miró Foundation, and the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing. In 2015, her solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou toured to Tate Modern, London and the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. Her works have also been showcased at Documenta Kassel, the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, the Istanbul Biennial, the Biennale of Sydney, and the Venice Biennale.
Press release courtesy Winsing Art Place.