Mona Hatoum — Performance Documents, 1980-1987/2013


Drawing, photography, video

Mona Hatoum
Performance Documents, 1980-1987/2013

Past: June 4 → July 23, 2022

Galerie Chantal Crousel is pleased to present Performance Documents (1980-1987/2013) by Mona Hatoum. The installation comprising photographs, sketches, drawings, notes, descriptions and videos, brings together rare archive material from a strategic and early point in Mona Hatoum’s career when she created performances in both a gallery setting and outside, on the streets. Hatoum’s decision to make performances at this time was partly due to necessity since she had limited funds, but also due to her active involvement in the fringe scenes of the London art world at the time, having recently graduated from art school.

Hatoum’s performances are particularly striking since they are both dramatically visual and emotionally and politically engaged, characteristics which underpin all of her work thereafter. In these works we see themes that the artist returns to many times in her sculptures, installations and works on paper, with particular focus on the body, issues of gender and notions of conflict and displacement. Props such as furniture and domestic tools as well as confined, architectural structures create a textural background for actions that focused intensely on the body and, in particular, on the experience of being a displaced person.

The sketches are also remarkable in that they evidence the emerging sculptor that Hatoum would become as well giving vivid insight into the working mind of an artist, showing both the initial ideas as well as the revisions and changes that are necessary in order to create a successful artwork. Since these works were often performed only once, this documentation provides the contemporary viewer with a unique, highly interactive engagement not just in an important period in the Hatoum’s career but in 1980s art in general.

Born to a Palestinian family, Mona Hatoum studied in London in the mid-1970s. Her political beliefs are poetically realised through installations, sculptures, video, photographs and works on paper, employing a variety of often unconventional mediums, such as hair, marbles, maps and household items. In the 1980s, Hatoum explored state oppression and surveillance through performance and video, often focusing intensely on the body. From the early 1990s, her work developed into large installations and sculptures exploring notions of displacement and global conflict involving opposing emotions of desire and repulsion, fear and fascination.

In 2019, Mona Hatoum has been awarded the Praemium Imperiale prize for Sculpture, submitted by Japan Art Association, the most historical cultural foundation in Japan. She was presented with a number of other prizes during her career, such as the Hiroshima Art Prize by the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (2017), the Joan Miró Prize of the Fundació Joan Miró (2011), Honorary Doctorate from the University of Southampton (2010), or the Roswitha Haftmann Stiftung Prize, Zurich (2004) among others.

In 2015, the important exhibition at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris travelled to Tate Modern, London, then to the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki (2016).

Mona Hatoum has shown her work at numerous major institutions such as the Magasin III and Accelerator, Stockholm (2022); Valencia Institute of Modern Art (IVAM), Valencia (2021); HE Art Museum, Shunde (2020); Menil Collection, Houston, (2017) with an exhibition that toured to the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis (2018); Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (2017); Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires (2015); Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo (2014); Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent (2014); Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha (2014); Kunstmuseum St-Gallen (2013); Arter, Istanbul (2012); Fundació Juan Miró, Barcelona (2012); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2009); Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2009); Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2005); Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (2004); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2004); Magasin III, Stockholm (2004); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (2003); Centro de Arte de Salamanca (2002).

Mona Hatoum’s works have joined the collections of the HE Art Museum, Shunde, China; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Hiroshima Museum of Art, Japan; Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany; LaM, Villeneuve d’Ascq, France; MAC VAL, Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de- Marne, Vitry-sur-Seine, France; Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration, Paris, France; Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany; La Caixa, Barcelona, Spain; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Arken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland; Mathaf, Doha, Qatar; Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE.

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