An eight meter long wall of burlap sandbags, Mona Hatoum?s ?Hanging Garden? (2008-9) takes a form familiar from news bulletins or documentary photographs of war zones and checkpoints, an ubiquitous part of the architecture of conflict. But here, in the quiet cultural environs of central Vienna, it is out of place. And, sprouting tufts of bright green grass and weeds, it seems to have been here for a while. In Hatoum?s works, the familiar and the strange exchange places, and the seeds of doubt are strewn amongst that which we take most for granted. The accoutrements of war become elegant, attractive, even seductive, but are also a reminder not only of all the wars going on across the world, but of all the lives that carry on regardless.
Mona Hatoum, born 1952 in Beirut/Lebanon, lives and works in London and Berlin.