Undercurrent: Mona Hatoum

Undercurrent (red), 2008

Mona Hatoum (b. 1952) is an installation and video artist who addresses issues of political and social identity through her work.

Born to a Palestinian family in Beirut, Hatoum moved to the UK in 1974 following the outbreak of civil war in Lebanon. Although Hatoum draws on her personal experience of exile to express feelings of displacement and disorientation, her work is never a direct commentary on particular issues, nor is it specific to her own history. In doing so, Hatoum asks us all to challenge our perceptions of the world around us.

In Undercurrent (red), Hatoum transforms red electrical cable into a woven mat. At the end of each cable is a lightbulb which dims and brightens at a steady breathing pace, turning an otherwise inanimate object into a living creature. This piece is entrancing, yet warns of danger, invading the space around us as if the electrical currents were underneath our feet.

‘There are often two sides to each piece, not just one meaning. Duality and contradictions exist in most of the work: darkness and light, heaviness and humor, beauty and danger…’ – Mona Hatoum

Image via artsy.net

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