Mona Hatoum’s poetic and political oeuvre is realised in a diverse and often unconventional range of media, including installation, sculpture, video, photography and works on paper.
Hatoum first became widely known in the mid 1980s for a series of performance and video works that focused with great intensity on the body. In the 1990s her work moved increasingly towards large-scale installations and sculptures that aim to engage the viewer in conflicting emotions of desire and revulsion, fear and fascination. Hatoum has developed a language in which familiar, domestic everyday objects are often transformed into foreign, threatening and dangerous things. Even the human body is rendered unfamiliar in Corps étranger (1994), a video installation that displays an endoscopic journey through the interior landscape of her own body. Homebound (2000) is an assemblage of household furniture wired up with an audibly active electric current that combines a sense of threat with a surrealist sense of humour. In Hot Spot (2006) and Map (clear) (2015) Hatoum uses cartography to explore instability and precariousness in today’s political landscape.
Mona Hatoum was born into a Palestinian family in Beirut, Lebanon in 1952 and has lived in London since 1975. She has participated in numerous important group exhibitions including the Turner Prize (1995), Venice Biennale (1995 and 2005), Documenta, Kassel (2002 and 2017), Biennale of Sydney (2006), Istanbul Biennial (1995 and 2011) and Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2013).
Solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1997), which toured to New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1997), Modern Art Oxford (1998) and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (1998); Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy (1999); Tate Britain, London (2000); Hamburger Kunsthalle, which toured to Kunstmuseum Bonn and Magasin III, Stockholm (2004); Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2005); Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice, Italy (2009); Beirut Art Center (2010); Kunstmuseum St Gallen, Switzerland (2013) and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha (2014). A major touring exhibition with over a hundred works from the late 1970s to the present were on display at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015), Tate Modern, London and KIASMA, Helsinki (2016). Recent solo exhibitions include The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas (2017) which toured to the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St Louis, Missouri (2018).
As winner of the 2011 Joan Miró Prize, Hatoum held a solo exhibition at Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona in 2012. She also exhibited at Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, having been awarded the 10th Hiroshima Art Prize in 2017. In 2019, Hatoum was the recipient of the Praemium Imperiale in recognition of her lifetime achievement in sculpture. Hatoum was the recipient of the 2020 Julio González Prize, Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM), where a solo exhibition of her work will be held in 2021.