Palestinian/British artist Mona Hatoum plays with our expectations, turning innocuous objects into dangerous threats.
The Pin Rug is a veritable bed of nails. The “Cage à deux” birdcage is the size of an Alcatraz prison cell. Wheelchair handgrips are razor sharp knives that represent the fact that “the vulnerable person resents his dependence on the caregiver. He is biting the hand that feeds him,” as the artist explained.
In Grater Divide, the innocuous cheese grater is enlarged and re-made as a cutting-edge, Victorian room divider. When she finished it, she discovered it said something, to her, about privacy. It’s like the window shutters used on Arab homes, “the architectural equivalent of the veil”, she said.
She hopes that her work will make people question the things around them and that they will find their own meanings. A crib in which wires replace a mattress suggests child abuse to some and the yoke of parenting to others. “It becomes a mirror of their own experience.”
She’s now showing her work at Magasin 3 in Stockholm, till December 19.