Mona Hatoum’s poetic and political oeuvre is realized in a varied and often unconventional range of media, including installation, sculpture, video, photography and works on paper. Mona Hatoum was born in Beirut in 1952, but her family is of Palestinian origin. In 1975, while on a visit to Great Britain, war broke out in Lebanon and she was forced to stay in London.
Changing Parts shows the artist during a performance in London, naked in a container, whose sloping walls and mud-covered bottom prevent her from getting up. In a striking turnaround, London looks like an insane place, while images from war-ravaged Beirut radiate tranquility, harking back to her childhood memories of the safe bathroom at home.
Measures of Distance anticipates the evolution from the more subjective performance work with a strong emphasis on the human body, to the large-scale installations and sculptures she will make in the 1990s, in which she wants to involve the spectator in conflicting emotions of desire and aversion, fear and fascination, linked to themes such as captivity and domesticity.