Mona Hatoum (Lebanese, b. 1952)
Audio: Mona Hatoum, Untitled (meat grinder)
Mona Hatoum (Lebanese, b. 1952)
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Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importat… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION
Mona Hatoum (Lebanese, b. 1952)

Untitled (meat grinder)

Mona Hatoum (Lebanese, b. 1952)
Untitled (meat grinder)
incised with artist signature, number, date and foundry mark 'mona hatoum 06 4/12' (on the side)
8¼ x 9 x 4¾in. (21 x 22.8 x 12.2cm.)
Executed in 2006; this work is number four from an edition of twelve
Private Collection, Paris.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Mona Hatoum, exh. cat., London, White Cube, 2006 (another work from the edition illustrated in colour, p. 79).
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Lot Essay

Mona Hatoum was born in Lebanon to Palestinian parents and now lives and works in London and Berlin. Since the early 1990's, she has focused on sculptures and installations moving away from her engaged performances. In her works, she plays around with the recognizable by inserting a disturbing feature to it in order to create a sense of unease in the viewer. The theme of dangerous domesticity runs through her work.
Here, the Meat Grinder has no functionality. It appears like an ambiguous threatening device. The sculpture refers to a kitchen utensil but made of bronze, it is thus altered and reproduced in an unlikely material which disturbs the spectator and somehow makes it precarious. Along with cheese graters, scissors and tea strainers, the meat grinder is displaced and lost in terms of function. The kitchen has been considered through history as the heart of the home but here, it no longer appears as a secure environment. The artist indeed alludes to the dangers and the confines of the contemporary domestic world and to modern and contemporary gender issues by minimally transmuting the everyday utensils into uncertain objects.
Mona Hatoum's work takes on Marcel Duchamp's readymade archetype. When in 1913, the French Dadaïst mounted a bicycle wheel on a painted wooden stool, a found object was turned into a nonfunctional machine by a simple artistic act. Similarly, the Meat Grinder has become what Duchamp defined as assisted readymade: "first, the choice of the object is itself a creative act. Secondly, by canceling the useful function of the object, it becomes art. Thirdly, the addition of a title to the object has given it a new thought, a new meaning" (Duchamp, The Blind Man, 1917).
Despite its strangeness, the Meat Grinder therefore becomes a beautiful and noble sculpture. Hatoum uses a humorous and ironic detachment yet through her work, she subtly comments on gender difference. However, she is not making statements but rather raising questions by involving the spectator in the act of art.
Mona Hatoum is widely considered to be one of the most important Pop artists of our era.

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