Mona Hatoum

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

Biography

Born 1952
Nationalities Palestinian
British

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

  • Founded in 1984, The Turner Prize is awarded annually to the ‘most outstanding contribution’ to British art that took place in the last year.

  • An art practice developed in the second half of the twentieth  century that broke away from the view of a sculpture as a singular object to be looked at. Instead, installation artists create an environment that may surround the viewer. Many are temporary or created for a particular location.