Born into a Palestinian family in Beirut, Mona Hatoum makes use of her past experiences and feelings concerning loss, displacement, disorientation, and estrangement as a source for her production. Shaped through the many years the artist has spent deeply excavating the complexities and contradictions that are nurtured by the present state of the world, these works open up layers of paradoxical meaning by bringing together various formal and visual elements in unexpected ways, starting from the artist’s own body and expanding toward other borders that we call home or country.
Previously exhibited as part of “You Are Still Here” (2012), curated by Emre Baykal, “3-D Cities” is an installation of maps showing the cities of Baghdad, Kabul and Beirut on three table tops connected by wooden trestles. The concentric circles Hatoum cuts into the map resemble craters, producing elevations and depressions in the map’s surface. These three-dimensional forms seem to indicate sites of seismic disruption, bombed-out areas, or construction sites out of which new architectural structures rise. The positive and negative cuts Hatoum delicately engraves on the maps of these war-torn cities are reminders of the ways in which destruction and reconstruction are intertwined.
"What Time Is It?", exhibition view, Arter, 2019.