Mona Hatoum at The Menil Collection


A minimalist expression of our world’s greatest contradictions.

Mona Hatoum’s first exhibit in the U.S. called Terra Infirma arrives in Houston at The Menil Collection.

Terra Infirma transported me from pleasure to terror, from peace to war, from freedom to imprisonment and from calm to anxiety in just a matter of seconds. Strolling through her installations at The Menil Collection turned into an addictive adventure of discovering what would my next reaction would be after analyzing the reason behind each of her artistic proposals.

Her minimalist expression of our world's greatest contradictions seems to be an extraordinary accomplishment. Her masterpieces are immobile transformations that flow from a pleasant first impression of exceptional esthetic to a disturbing and unsettling feeling in just an instant.

Grater Divide, created in 2002 is the perfect example: after a first glimpse it seemed to be an artistic and decorative piece, however, after realizing it was an enormous cheese grater, it transformed into something comic, sinister and even dangerous. My favorite installations were Impenetrable where hundreds of threads of steel and fish-wire hang from the ceiling, and Homebound, an inexplicable combination of everyday house objects, that seem harmless until you realize they are in imminent danger of electrocution. In my opinion, this piece meant to me a metaphor or a visual representation of a mental disease.


Mona Hatoum was born in Beirut in 1952. During a brief visit to London in 1975, the civil war exploded in her country, forcing her to exile. She continued her passion for art at the Slade School of Fine Arts in London, where she still resides.

Her work has been recognized all over the world with various prizes and it has been exhibited at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, The Tate in London and the Contemporary Art Museum in Chicago, amongst others.


It's a pleasure to have her work at the Menil Collection in Houston until the end of February. Don't miss this wonderful exhibit. Plan a cultural morning with family or friends at the Menil Collection where you can always enhance your visit with a stroll to the Rothko Chapel, the Byzantine Chapel, and the Menil Bookstore or even have a delicious lunch at Bistro Menil.

Yo Mariana hopes you enjoy it!