Hatoum started her career making visceral performance art in the 1980s that focused with great intensity on the body. Since the beginning of the 1990s, however, her work moved increasingly towards large-scale installations that aimed to engage the viewer in conflicting emotions of desire and revulsion, fear and fascination. In her singular sculptures, Hatoum has transformed familiar, every-day, domestic objects such as chairs, cots and kitchen utensils into things foreign, threatening and dangerous. Even the human body is rendered strange in works such as 'Corps étranger' (1994) or ‘Deep Throat’ (1996), installations that use endoscopic journies through the interior landscape of the artist’s own body. In Homebound (2000) and Sous Tension (1999) Hatoum uses assemblages of household furniture wired up with an audibly active electric current – works that employ the stripped down language of minimalism combined with a surrealist sense of humour to create works that draw the viewer in on both an emotive and intellectual level. In smaller sculptures such as Traffic (2004) and Twins (2006) Hatoum uses found materials, rich with patina and laden with personal resonance, to create poetic, beguiling works on an intimate scale.
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 throughout the world. Some of her works are currently on display at the Botín Foundation in Santander.