Mona Hatoum, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Entrails, 1995 (detail). Silicone rubber. 1 1⁄2 x 116 x 77 1⁄2 inches (3.81 x 294.64 x 196.85 cm). Mona Hatoum, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Entrails, 1995. Silicone rubber. 1 1⁄2 x 116 x 77 1⁄2 inches (3.81 x 294.64 x 196.85 cm). Mona Hatoum, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Pin Carpet, 1995. Stainless steel pins, cotton needlepoint fabric, and adhesive. 1 x 98 x 48 inches (2.54 x 248.92 x 121.92 cm). Mona Hatoum, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Pin Carpet, 1995 (detail). Stainless steel pins, cotton needlepoint fabric, and adhesive. 1 x 98 x 48 inches (2.54 x 248.92 x 121.92 cm).
Mona Hatoum, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Entrails, 1995 (detail). Silicone rubber. 1 1⁄2 x 116 x 77 1⁄2 inches (3.81 x 294.64 x 196.85 cm).
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Mona Hatoum, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Entrails, 1995. Silicone rubber. 1 1⁄2 x 116 x 77 1⁄2 inches (3.81 x 294.64 x 196.85 cm).
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Mona Hatoum, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Pin Carpet, 1995. Stainless steel pins, cotton needlepoint fabric, and adhesive. 1 x 98 x 48 inches (2.54 x 248.92 x 121.92 cm).
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Mona Hatoum, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Pin Carpet, 1995 (detail). Stainless steel pins, cotton needlepoint fabric, and adhesive. 1 x 98 x 48 inches (2.54 x 248.92 x 121.92 cm).
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Mona Hatoum

Mona Hatoum used the opportunity of a residency at the FWM to challenge a traditional form of textile production—the carpet—by creating two sculptures made from non-traditional carpet materials: stainless steel straight pins and silicone rubber.

Pin Carpet was made by pushing 750,000 pins through a needlepoint canvas— one pin for every other opening in the 4 x 8-foot canvas. Created face-side down, the final effect of the sculpture was not known until it was finished and then turned and placed on the floor. Its visual effect changes with the movement of light across its surface—at times it is a rich, dark abyss, at others, a reflective bed of shimmering white. Pin Carpet evokes a functional carpet, a prayer rug, and a fakir’s bed of nails, suggesting the possibility of standing, kneeling, or lying down on this inhospitable surface.

Entrails relates to Hatoum’s longtime interest in the human body, this time with a never-ending maze of intestine-like coils. Cast from silicone rubber (the same material used by Dow Corning Corporation to make breast implants), the glistening sculpture has the confounding ability to both attract and repel. Its elegant surface and mesmerizing pattern are visually and tactilely seductive, but equally apt to deter or even repulse once the identity of what is depicted becomes clear.

Bio
Palestinian, born Lebanon 1952, lives in London
Born in Beirut, Mona Hatoum was visiting London in 1975 when civil war broke out in Lebanon. Unable to return home, Hatoum remained in London to study and begin her artistic practice. She attended The Byam Shaw School of Art (1975–1979) followed by The Slade School of Art (1979–1981). Hatoum first became known for her highly personal performance pieces begun while she was a student, but her work has evolved to include video, installation, and sculpture. In 2000, Hatoum’s work was featured in a one-person exhibition at the Tate Britain. In 1997, a mid-career retrospective, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (1997), toured widely to venues throughout the world including The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. She was also included in the influential exhibition Sense and Sensibility: Women Artists and Minimalism in the 90s (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1994).