Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mona Hatoum at The Centre Pompidou

During our stay in Paris, we visited the Centre Pompidou, better known as the modern art museum of paris, to check out artist Mona Hatoum's most comprehensive exhibition to date, giving an overview of the diversity and scope of her work from the late 70s to present. It gathers together over 100 works in artistic media. 

Born in Beirut in 1952 to Palestinian parents, Hatoum was on a short visit to London in 1975 when the Lebanese civil war broke out. Unable to return, she attended art school in London. British by nationality, she remained in the UK after her studies and, since 2003, divides her time between London and Berlin. 

Below are some pieces that I liked from her exhibition. Mona Hatoum's exhibition will be on display at Centre Pompidou until 28th September. Check it out it's worth the visit. 

In this billboard-sized work, Hatoum depicts herself in profile, looking at a toy solider positioned on her nose. It is a humorous yet complex and contradictory image. It plays with scale to reverse the power relationships by reducing the symbol of masculinity to a small creature, like a fly, that one can flick off. 

This is a close-up of Mona Hatoum's work titled Twelve Windows. There twelve pieces of Palestinian embroidery are the work of Inaash, the Association for the Development of Palestinian Camps (a Lebanese NGO founded in 1969 to provide employment for Palestinian women in refugee camps in Lebanon). The act of embroidery here becomes like an act of resistance against the discontinuations of exile. Each window represents, through its motifs, stitches, and patterns, a key region of Palestine. Installed in a space that is crisscrossed by steel cables, they become like a visual map of Palestine and a metaphor for the divided territory. 

Undercurrent Red (2008). This is a floor piece made from electrical cables that have been woven to form a large square mat, and fringed strands with light bulbs, resembling a medusa-like creature. 

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