Mona Hatoum was born in Beriut from a palestinese family in 1952. From 1975 she live and work in London, where she went to visit the city, but forced to stay in Europe because of the beginning of the civil war in Lebanon. She attended the Beirut University College beetween 1970 and 1972, then the Byam Shaw School of Art and the Slade School of Art between 1975 and 1981. After her studies she began her artistic career with performances and video, then re-inventing her art, using also installation.
Mona’s life deeply influenced her art, because all her works talks about civil situation, political boundaries and theme that concerned also her personal life as a woman who can not go back to her country because of the war.
Most of her works are made with maps and their language, so that she’s one of the most interesting map-artist I’ve ever studied. She find out how improve her work with social and political values, without transforming them in an activism’s flag.
In 2006 opened to the public her exposition “Bunker” in London, near Piccadilly. This gallery is set with 35 seesaws colored in red and painted with the patterns of some important capitals of the world. These strange plays move without touching each other. Their abandoned disquieting movements call off every unit and suggest territorial displacement.
Linked to this installation, in 2010 Mona Hatoum created similar seesaws, this time thanks to the exposition in Punkt Ø/Galleri F 15 (Norway), due to the celebration of the 200-year anniversary of Norway Constitution. This time not 35 but only 2 seesaws where exposted. Thier pattern is with, instead of the red of the other works.
Different is also the use of the light and the material. In 2010 Mona used glass instead of the plastic material, so that once illuminated from up-above the spectator can also ammire the patterns reflected on the floor. Maybe that’s means a chage of mind or it give to the same works a different taste, with a different poetic.