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Through her performances, videos, sculptures, and installations Mona Hatoum explores subjects like displacement and separation. While her preoccupation with these themes is associated with her personal experience as a Palestinian born in Beirut and exiled in London in 1975, her precise and absorbing works express broader narratives of subjectivity and identity. The installation Home adopts the form of the nurturing emotional core of every home, the kitchen, with a table covered with an assortment of illuminated metal kitchen appliances (a funnel, a grater, scissors, a colander, a cake mold) connected to one another by the wires through which the electrical current runs. A software program controls the frequency and intensity of the illumination, while the crackling sound of electricity is amplified through speakers. The sculpture is set back behind a barrier of thin horizontal steel wires that separates the viewer from the potentially lethal current. Typical of Hatoum's art, Home is an environment of ambivalence that evokes both intimacy and the violence of frustrated longing. Historian Tamar Garb notes in relation to Hatoum's work: "Far from offering a refuge from the world of political or social pressure, ‘home' is the locus of discomfort, a space of psychic entrapment and terror from which there is no way out."

Details

  • Title: Home
  • Creator: Mona Hatoum
  • Date Created: 1999
  • Location: Bilbao, Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall dimensions variable
  • Type: Installation
  • External Link: Artwork on the website of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
  • Medium: Wood, galvanized steel, stainless steel, electric wire, crocodile clips, light bulbs, computerized dimmer switch, amplifier, and speakers
  • Artwork's location in the Museum: Room 105

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