ARTER – space for art presents Mona Hatoum. You Are Still Here

. March 23, 2012 . 0 Comments

ARTER – space for art presents Mona Hatoum. You Are Still Here a solo exhibition in Istanbul on view 17 March and 27 May 2012.The exhibition presents more than 30 works dating from the 90s to the present. Hatoum has also spent some time in Istanbul producing a number of new pieces for the exhibition in collaboration with local fabricators and craft workshops.

Mona Hatoum, “Kapan,” 2012. Mild steel and glass. Installation at ARTER: 156 x 300 x 330 cm. Photo: Hadiye Cangökçe, courtesy of the Artist and ARTER.

Mona Hatoum’s poetic and political oeuvre is realised in a diverse and often unconventional range of media, including installations, sculpture, video, photography and works on paper. In her work she has determinedly explored a sense of the malaise and unsettledness that permeates our contemporary world.

Borrowing its title from one of Hatoum’s early works “You are Still Here” (1994), the exhibition at ARTER opens with an imposing work, Bunker (2011), an installation with six architectural steel structures selected from a larger set of twenty-two. Achieved by the repetition of a single industrial element, the rigidity of the grid pattern in Bunker and the geometrical forms employed in the work, are defaced by cuts, bends and burns. The scale of these modules gives them the appearance of architectural models of a future project, with signs of destruction already built into the plan. Installed on ARTER’s ground floor the work is visually accesible from the pedestrian Istiklal Street, the city’s main artery for culture and arts, thus transposing an unfamiliar cityscape into the gallery space.

Kapan (2012), an installation created specifically for the exhibition at ARTER, continues Hatoum’s interest in the grid and architectural references, this time juxtaposing the roughness of steel reinforcing rods with the sensuousness and fragility of hand blown glass. Kapan, which means trap in Turkish, consists of five structures made of steel, each slightly different in size, yet all scaled to average human height. Combining a solid geometry with imprecise forms, and solidity with fragility, almost welded into each other, the work subtly resonates the vulnerability of the human body—threatened, captured and controlled by power structures—as well as one’s own sense of inner exile.

Another work inspired by the location and produced in Istanbul is Shift (2012), a wool carpet on which Hatoum maps the whole world as a danger zone by drawing yellow circles of seismic waves all over its surface and dividing it into slightly shifted segments.

Mona Hatoum was born into a Palestinian family in Beirut, Lebanon in 1952 and now lives and works in London and Berlin. She has participated in numerous important group exhibitions including The Turner Prize (1995), Venice Biennale (1995 and 2005), İstanbul Biennial (1995 and 2011) Documenta XI, Kassel (2002) and Biennale of Sydney (2006). Solo exhibitions include Centre Pompidou, Paris (1994), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1997), Tate Britain, London (2000), Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Magasin 3, Stockholm (2004) and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2005). Recent exhibitions include Interior Landscape, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2009), Witness, Beirut Art Center, Beirut (2010). She is currently the subject of a solo exhibition at Sammlung Goetz in Munich. Hatoum has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Joan Miró Prize and a solo exhibition of her work will be held at Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona in June 2012.

Curated by Emre Baykal, “You Are Still Here” will run until 27 May 2012.

Category: Fine Art

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