March 23, 2005 - Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) - Mona Hatoum: Over My Dead Body
March 23, 2005

Mona Hatoum: Over My Dead Body

Mona Hatoum, Over My Dead Body, 1988, Billboard, 2 x 3 m, (c) the artist Courtesy Jay Jopling/White Cube (London)

Mona Hatoum: Over My Dead Body
23 March – 29 May 2005

Museum of Contemporary Art
Circular Quay West, Sydney, Australia
T 61 2 9245 2400
F 61 2 9252 4361

“In the world of culture artist Mona Hatoum has found the most significant visual expression for the experience of “New Europeans” – living on that unstable ground between two cultures, where you do not feel at home in either – not the one you left or fled from nor the one you have voluntarily or involuntarily become a part of.”

These were the words of the Sonning Prize judging panel, in announcing Mona Hatoum’s win last year. She became the first ever visual artist to win the prestigious award for major contribution to European culture, and previous winners include such luminaries such as Sir Laurence Olivier, Simone de Beauvoir, Ingmar Bergman and Jorn Utzon, architect of the Sydney Opera House.
Mona Hatoum: Over My Dead Body brings her renowned installation, sculpture and performance work to an Australian public at a time when issues of exile and displacement are once again very much in the news.

Hatoum has steadily built up an impressive international reputation. She was nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize in 1995, an exhibition of her major sculpture launched the refurbished Tate Britain in London in 2000 and she was included in Documenta 11 in 2002.

Born in Beirut to Palestinian parents, Hatoum was in London in 1975 when war broke out in Lebanon and prevented her returning home. Her sense of alienation and living as a stranger in a foreign land is strongly reflected in her early performance and video works. Particularly haunting is the video Measures of Distance, which draws on the emotional and personal letters Hatoum would receive from her mother.

In her celebrated installation Light Sentence, the viewer moves around a cage-like structure, interrupting and disturbing the violent shadows that are thrown up by a slowly moving light-bulb suspended within it.

“Your first experience of a work of art is physical,” says Hatoum. “I like the work to operate on both the sensual and intellectual levels. Meanings, connotations and associations come after the initial physical experience as your imagination and intellect are fired by what you have seen.”
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, sits on Sydney Harbour across from the Opera House. Located at, Circular Quay West, The Rocks the MCA is Australia’s only museum dedicated to exhibiting, interpreting and collecting contemporary art from across Australia and around the world. With a continually changing program of exhibitions there’s always something new, exciting and inspiring to see at the MCA. For more information go to

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
Share - Mona Hatoum: Over My Dead Body
  • Share