Exhibition by contemporary artist Mona Hatoum opens at Reed College's Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, November 1
Hatoum will give a free public lecture on Wednesday, November 2, as part of the Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors in the Arts Program.
PORTLAND, OR (October 14, 2005) – An exhibition of video, photography, and mixed media sculpture by Mona Hatoum, one of the most important artists of her generation, opens at the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery at Reed College on November 1 and runs through December 23, 2005. The exhibition is curated by Cooley Gallery director Stephanie Snyder.
A Palestinian artist living and working in London, Hatoum's work has generated increasing excitement in the contemporary art world. Through her complex sculptural and multi-media work, she has consistently explored cultural dynamics of immigration, gender, and physical and psychological displacement, often using the personal space of the body and its products as a means for exploring broader cultural and political concerns. Over the past 20 years, Hatoum has created works as intimate in scale as an installation of tiny balls crafted from the artist's hair to enormous large-scale steel and marble sculptures based on common kitchen utensils.
A highlight of the Cooley exhibition is La Grande Broyeuse (Mouli-Julienne x17) – one of the artist's largest steel sculptures. La Grande Broyeuse replicates a common object on a massive scale – alternately threatening, humorous, and monumental. Curator Stephanie Snyder describes the piece: "Acutely in the case of Hatoum's Mouli-Julienne entitled La Grande Broyeuse (Mouli-Julienne x17) – the title translating loosely as "the large grinder"–the work resembles a mendacious insect or fantastical machine. Hatoum created the object for an installation in Thiers, France, at the Creux de l'Enfer Centre d'art contemporain. The work responds to the knife factories of Thiers, described in George Sand's novel "La Ville Noire." The novel describes in great detail the grinding labor of a community of metal workers who live apart from "polite" society. In writing on the object, Alix Ohlin and others have also compared the object to the destructive, incising device in Kafka's story "The Penal Colony5." Hatoum has taken this domestic-industrial tool and imbued it with the violence and violation inherent in domestic and cultural struggle, and in the social function of the gigantic as a natural force that shapes and threatens the safety of society, of home–of the continuation of life."
Mona Hatoum speaks about her work at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2 in Reed's Vollum Lecture Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. Hatoum appears as part of the Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors in the Arts program.
A fully illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition, with essays by Stephanie Snyder, the curator of the exhibition and the director of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, and writer Alix Ohlin. The catalog is available at the gallery and by calling 503/777-7251.
A student of Beirut University College, the Byam Shaw School of Art, and the Slade School of Art, Mona Hatoum emerged onto the British art scene during the convulsive excitement of the YBA (Young British Artists) movement in 1980s London, Her early work included physically extreme, enigmatic public performances exploring personal and public space, vulnerability, and social relationships.
Hatoum's work has been featured at the Tate Britain, London; the Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Oaxaca Museum, Oaxaca, Mexico; and the 2005 Venice Biennale. In 2004, Hatoum was awarded the prestigious Sonning Prize in Copenhagen, Denmark. She was the first visual artist to receive the prize, which is awarded every other year to an individual "who has significantly contributed to the advancement of European civilization."
The Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors in the Arts Program
The Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors in the Arts Program was established by a generous gift in 1988 from Edward and Sue Cooley and John and Betty Gray in support of art history and its place in the humanities. The mission of the program is to bring to Reed College and the Portland community creative individuals who are distinguished in connection with the arts and who will provide a forum for conceptual exploration, challenge, and discovery. Ostrow visitors give public lectures and conduct seminars with students. Robert Morris, Michael Fried, Leo Steinberg, Linda Nochlin, Al Held, Dennis Oppenheim, Adrian Piper, Judy Pfaff, and Hans Haacke are among the outstanding individuals who have visited Reed through the Ostrow program.
Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery
The mission of the gallery is to enhance Reed's academic offering with a diverse range of scholarly exhibitions, lectures, and colloquia. The gallery was established by a generous 1988 gift from Sue and Edward Cooley and John and Betty Gray "in support of the teaching of art history at Reed College, as part of an interdisciplinary educational experience that strengthens the art history component of Reed's distinctive humanities program." Exhibitions are curated in collaboration with Reed faculty members and courses, with attention to the needs and interests of the larger Portland and Northwest arts communities. A schedule of four exhibitions during the academic year brings to Reed and the Portland community work that would not otherwise be seen in the region.
Admission to the Cooley Gallery and its exhibitions is always free and open to the public from noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.
For more information, please visit http://web.reed.edu/gallery or call the gallery information line at 503/777-7790.
For more information and to receive images from the exhibition, please contact Stephanie Snyder, director of the Cooley Gallery, at 503/777-7251 (cell 503/367-7004) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.