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Mona Hatoum - T42 (gold)

1999. Courtesy the artist and White Cube. Photo courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York (Photo: Bill Orcutt).

Mona Hatoum - T42 (gold)

Photograph Stefan Handy

Mona Hatoum - T42 (gold)

Photograph Stefan Handy

T42 (gold)

Gold trimmed fine stoneware in two parts, 1999

Copyright Mona Hatoum. Photo courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York (Photo: Bill Orcutt).

One of the most admired traits of Mona Hatoum’s work is how she generates multiple, and always affecting, readings by simple transformative gestures. With T42 (gold), the conjoining of the cups brings to mind the civility associated with tea drinking along with an image of the forced collaboration involved in sharing a vessel. In political terms, it can be construed as a metaphor of cooperation and egalitarianism, but also its opposite: a possible battle over limited resources, a tug-of-war in which the contents of the vessel go to the victor. Another perception altogether may be that of a couple very much in love and in tune, sharing a warm drink, while locked in an intimate embrace.

Mona Hatoum

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.

Her installations and sculptures 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, beginning with Corps étranger (1994), a video installation that displays an endoscopic journey through the interior landscape of her own body.

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), the Istanbul Biennial (1995 and 2011) and The Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2013).

Solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1997), New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1997), Castello di Rivoli, Turin (1999), Tate Britain, London (2000), Hamburger Kunsthalle; Kunstmuseum Bonn; Magasin III, Stockholm (2004) and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2005). Recent exhibitions include UCCA, Beijing (2009), Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2009), Beirut Art Center (2010) and, as the winner of the 2011 Joan Miró Prize, Hatoum held a solo exhibition at Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona in 2012. In 2013-2014 Hatoum was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Kunstmuseum St Gallen and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha. Recently a major touring exhibition bringing together over 100 works from the late-1970s to the present was on display at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015); Tate Modern, London (2016) and KIASMA, Helsinki (2016–17). In 2017 she exhibited at Hiroshima MOCA, having been awarded the 10th Hiroshima Art Prize 2017, and at The Menil Collection, Houston, with an exhibition that is now on view at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri, until 11 August 2018.