Mona Hatoum ‘Remains to be Seen’ at White Cube Bermondsey

 

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Mona Hatoum is a marvellous artist and this is an exceptional show. She was born in Beirut of Palestinian parents but in 1975 she got stranded in London because war broke out in the Lebanon. Some years later she made the video piece Measures of Distance. It shows the  warm and lovely face of her mother in the shower, overlaid by the Arab script of her letters to her daughter.  The shapes of the letters are like a barrier between them,  almost a curtain of barbed wire.

 

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Themes of conflict and separation run deep, accompanied by her constant  sense of our fragility. Look closer at these prettily coloured glass baubles and  you see that they are shaped like hand grenades, the handles of a  a normal looking  metal wheel chair are actually lethal looking knives.  She changed the scale of an ordinary kitchen implement, so that it becomes monstrous, an instrument capable of grating human flesh.

 

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The work is tactile, even though you may not want to touch it. The most spectacular work in this show is Map (mobile) in which the shape of the world’s continents are cut from sheet glass and suspended from slender metal rods. It quivers and you catch your breath, you feel catastrophe is imminent.

 

Mona Hatoum ‘Remains to be Seen’ is at White Cube Bermondsey until 3 November. Not to be missed.

 

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Tony Benn says:

    A lovely piece of prose describing one of the most important artists in UK. The premonition of disaster in the last part rings true in the present political climate.

  2. fenellacrichton says:

    Thanks Tony. I think we are in the middle of several disasters unfolding around us. Did you watch Johnson last night?

  3. nelica1 says:

    Thank you for the beautifully constructed review. Prompted a gallery visit.

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