Mona Hatoum

(born 1952)
Mona Hatoum Slicer 1999 © Mona Hatoum; photography © Herbert Lotz; Courtesy White Cube


Themes of entrapment, threat and vulnerability are central to Hatoum’s art. Referencing everyday objects like furniture and kitchen objects, she is influenced by her Palestinian identity as well as by Surrealism and Minimalism. Hatoum also uses her body to explore the line between attraction and repulsion, from making a film of her intestines with an endoscopic camera to using her hair in sculptures. She worked mostly with performance and video until 1988, when she began making installations, sculptures and photographs. Born in Beirut, Hatoum attended Beirut University College from 1970-2 but lived in London from 1975, when the civil war in Lebanon made her return home impossible. She studied at the Byam Shaw and Slade Schools of Art and was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1995.

Glossary terms

  • An annual British art prize which was founded in 1984 by the Tate Gallery's Patrons of New Art. It is intended to promote public discussion of developments in contemporary British art and generates media attention and, at times, controversy. Winners include Gilbert and George , Richard Long, Rachel Whiteread and Douglas Gordon.