press release

Mona Hatoum
February 19–October 15, 2022

Curator: Olga Krzeszowiec Malmsten

During the spring of 2022, Mona Hatoum’s works are simultaneously exhibited at two locations in Stockholm: at Magasin III Museum for Contemporary Art in Frihamnen and at the Accelerator exhibition space on the Stockholm University campus.

Since the early 1990s, Mona Hatoum has been regarded as one of the most important artists of our time. Through installation, sculpture, performance, photography, and video, she consistently explores issues of the familiar and the foreign, home and exile, memory and loss. Hatoum’s multifaceted body of work plays on the tension between these states, as well as on their shifting boundaries. Through alterations in scale and the use of unexpected materials, an object that at first glance seems simply a household utensil can shift its associations to become a threatening tool.

“By constantly shifting positions, Hatoum seems to question any fixed truths and perceptions of the world. It is often presented from the perspective of the individual in relation to structural and institutional violence and the exercise of power. These questions can be traced back to Hatoum’s own experience of displacement and disorientation, which are nonetheless universal and topical issues of rootlessness, alienation and loss.”
–Olga Krzeszowiec Malmsten, exhibition curator

In the exhibition Mona Hatoum – Revisit, the theme of ‘re-visiting’ occurs both in the exhibition’s actual format, but also in the works themselves, and in Hatoum’s tendency to revisit the same themes and concepts, with a wide variety of processes and materials. The fact that a non-linear working method is here likened to a revisit and not to a return can also be sensed in the ambiguous perspective with which the works are formulated. Unlike a return, a revisit is a temporary condition. It is the perspective of someone who is constantly moving between contexts—a form of rootlessness that can be associated with a state of dislocation. Migrating between places and contexts can also be traced to modern society’s increasingly evident dissolution of the home as an isolated geographical location. In step with globalization and contemporary demands for mobility, the result is an increasingly nomadic relationship to the home—a perspective that is also depicted in Hatoum’s work.

Hatoum has selected three earlier works from the Magasin III collection (Quarters, 1996; Vicious Circle, 1999; Nature morte aux grenades, 2006–2007) to form the basis of the exhibition. In the first part of the exhibition, the extensive archival work Performance Documents, 1980–1987/2013, is also featured. This introduces Hatoum’s early performative practice and demonstrates how it relates to her later sculpture and installation. Hatoum has also created a new work for the exhibition entitled Electrified (variable IV), 2022—an installation which draws on the experiments with kitchen utensils and electricity that she made in her early student years in the late 1970s. The new work also reconnects with the theme and materials of her earlier work Undercurrent (2004), which Hatoum created specifically for her solo exhibition at Magasin III in 2004.

In parallel with Mona Hatoum – Revisit at Magasin III, Accelerator is presenting three works by the artist at Stockholm University in the exhibition So Much I Want to Say, in which Undercurrent (2004) takes center stage. The exhibition is curated by Richard Julin, Accelerator’s Artistic Director. Presenting Mona Hatoum’s oeuvre at two different locations in Stockholm is a way to offer more perspectives and greater immersion for the visitors. The different contexts and focal points of Magasin III and Accelerator also provide different ways to approach Mona Hatoum’s multifaceted body of work, which often touches on political and social themes.

About Mona Hatoum Mona Hatoum was born in 1952 to a Palestinian family in Beirut, Lebanon. While she was on a short visit to London in 1975, the Lebanese civil war broke out and prevented her from returning home. She has lived in London ever since. Hatoum has participated in numerous prestigious international group exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (1995 and 2005), Documenta, Kassel (2002 and 2017), Biennale of Sydney (2006), Istanbul Biennial (1995 and 2011) and Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2013). Recent solo exhibitions include a major survey organised by Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015) that toured to Tate Modern, London and KIASMA, Helsinki (2016), and a US tour initiated by the Menil Collection, Houston (2017) that travelled to the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St Louis (2018). She has a long list of international distinctions which include being awarded the Rolf Schock Prize given by the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts (2008), the Joan Miró Prize (2011), the 10th Hiroshima Art Prize (2017) and the Praemium Imperiale (2019). More recently she received the Julio González Prize 2020 from IVAM – Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia, Spain, where she had a large solo exhibition in 2021.