Mona Hatoum: Projection


A survey of artwork by the winner of the 2011 Joan Miró Prize

The stated goal of Projection is to give a sense of Hatoum's work that goes beyond her geopolitical influences. This seems unlikely to be fully realized as so much of her work is overtly geopolitical, and many of the stronger pieces in Projection fall into this category. These include Cube (9 x 9 x 9), a freestanding matrix of barbed metal, and Hanging Garden in which grass has taken over the sandbag wall of a bunker. Like Alighiero Boetti, Hatoum also has a fascination with maps (and specifically maps on carpets). Hardly anything could be more geopolitical.

This being said, Projection is not exclusively political. While it is hard to get excited about the giant cheese graters, Hatoum achieves an elegant beauty with both Web, which consists of hollow blown glass baubles suspended from the ceiling, and Undercurrent (Red), which weaves lightbulbs into a carpet which pulsates with light. Another standout piece is the hypnotic + and - , which has two rotating beams alternately carving and smoothing a sandbox. It recalls both the patterns of a Zen garden and the constant sweeping of a radar display.

Overall, Projection is an impressive achievement. While Hatoum may never be able to escape political readings, that hardly something be ashamed of.

Projection is at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona until the 24th of September.

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