004 Mona Hatoum TRIBRU 2024
Mona Hatoum

Full Swing

Full Swing by Mona Hatoum invites you to swing in a narrow underground passage that has been excavated from the garden of the Onzelievevrouw Psychiatric Hospital.

10:00 – 18:00

Suspended from a metal beam in the middle of a subterranean structure, a swing dangles invitingly, waiting to be used. It can only be occupied by one visitor at a time. Descending into this narrow underground cell requires attention and may feel uncomfortable. All the surfaces (stairs, walls and floor) are made of gabions, wire mesh cages filled with locally sourced stones. Whether for decorative or functional purposes, the gabion containment system is used to create fences and partitions in private or public spaces, often in military and prison environments.

Full Swing allows visitors to physically experience what it can feel like to exist in conditions of confinement. Dug into the gardens of the Onzelievevrouw psychiatric hospital, it confronts people with a space of tension that forms a dialogue with the surroundings and history of the place. The body becomes a measure of possibilities as it oscillates between restriction and movement, discomfort and joy, darkness and light, entrapment and freedom.

Both in its material economy and the ideas that underpin it, the work is a continuation of Mona Hatoum’s long-standing interest in systems of discipline and control, as embodied in the architecture of detention and imprisonment. It merges recurring motifs within the artist's practice that confront audiences with emotions of instability and displacement, such as the metal grids, swings and cages seen in the installations Light Sentence (1992) and Suspended (2011).

With the support of Architectuuratelier Dertien12.

Portret Mona Hatoum Jens Ziehe min
© Jens Ziehe

Mona Hatoum's (b. 1952, Beiroet, LB | UK) work is realised in a diverse range of media; in her large-scale installations she transforms industrial materials such as barbed wire, cement or steel into constructions that feel ordinary yet alienating. Her work aims to elicit both fascination and aversion in equal measure. It reflects on subjects that arise from our current global condition, systems of confinement and control as well as themes of conflict and displacement.

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