Monday, 10 February 2014


Sculptural works with names like Bourj and Bunker represent the damaged buildings of Beirut.
Set in the entrance hall of Mathaf for Mona Hatoum: Turbulence.

We are often in Doha working closely with our partners there, but our most recent visit to the capital of Qatar was a little different. Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art invited us to join them for the opening of their latest exhibition, a solo show called Turbulence by the Palestinian-British artist Mona Hatoum.

Suspended by Mona Hatoum at Mathaf 
(Turbulence, the installation from which the exhibition 
takes its name, is also visible on the floor in the background)

The exhibition was curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, founders of Art Reoriented, who brought a new eye to the extensive body of work being shown from throughout the artist's 30-year career. Arranged as a series of tensions and counterpoints, the main concept behind this retrospective was the idea of turbulence and how it is created by shifting between different types of feeling in the gallery.

Over My Dead Body by Mona Hatoum at Mathaf

This idea comes from Mona Hatoum's artworks themselves, each of which generates a sense of instability using a poised balance between medium and message. Reading or hearing about her work can not compare to experiencing it in person because her large installations in particular (although also her video and smaller sculptures) trigger physical sensations of discomfort and anxiety in the body and mind of the viewer through their structure and motion.

Hotspot by Mona Hatoum at Mathaf
(The Impenetrable installation is also visible in the background)

It was a privilege to be able to interview such a prominent and accomplished artist, particularly as she was born in Beirut and has built up her considerable international reputation by continuing to work with integrity, wit and political awareness to produce world-class art.

The exhibition continues until 18th May 2014. Read our full review of the exhibition with comments from the artist and the curators in the March issue of the Art Paper, free with Selections magazine.