For the first time, the Centre Pompidou is devoting a major monographic exhibition to the work of Mona Hatoum, one of the world’s leading contemporary artists. The unprecedented scale of the exhibition, which features more than a hundred works, allows us to explore the full significance of the work of this key figure of today’s art world.
Mona Hatoum’s work dialogues, in an original and exemplary manner, with the major disciplines and movements of contemporary art – performance, video, Kinetic art, Minimalism and Conceptual art – and even makes a nod to Surrealism. The multidisciplinarity informs all of her work : no material, no medium, no art field is foreign to her.
The strentgh of her work comes from the sense of disorientation it induces in viewers. She leaves them to navigate through an unstable universe, a world driven by contradictions and unfolding in different time frames, characterised by tensions. Mona Hatoum often places viewers at the heart of the work, engaging them in dialogue, sometimes putting them to the test.
Born in Beirut in 1952 to Palestinian parents, Mona Hatoum was on a short visit to London when the Lebanese civil war broke out, in 1975. Unable to return, she attended art school in London. British by nationality, she is less associated with the Lebanese art scene than that of an international group of artists who have experienced exile, uprooting, estrangement from their familial context or confrontation with a hostile geopolitical situation.
The Centre Pompidou has shown great commitment to the work of Mona Hatoum by organizing her very first solo museum exhibition, some twenty years ago. The Centre Pompidou has also commissioned and purchased works that have since been exhibited in the museum, notably in the context of the “Elles@centrepompidou” exhibition.
Today, in the largest exhibition Gallery of the Centre Pompidou, curator Christine Van Assche sets the performance and video works of the 1980s - which had a lasting impact on the history of Performance Art, into dialogue with the sculptures, works on paper, installations, photographic works and altered objects produced between 1977 and 2015.