Mona Hatoum was born in Beirut, Lebanon and studied at Beirut University College from 1970 - 1972. Travelling to London as a visitor in 1975, she ended up staying when outbreak of civil war in the Lebanon prevented her from returning home. She subsequently studied in London at the Byam Shaw School of Art, 1975 - 1979, and the Slade School of Fine Art, 1979 - 1981. She has since exhibited extensively and her work has been included in numerous important group exhibitions including Identita e Alterita: figure del corpo 1895 - 1995, at the XLVI Venice Biennale, 1995, Rites of Passage: Art for the End of the Century, at the Tate Gallery, London, 1995, and Documenta X, Kassel, Germany in 2002. She had a solo exhibition at the Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris in 1994, and a major solo survey exhibition was organised by the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art in 1997 which subsequently toured to the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. In 2000, her exhibition The Entire World as a Foreign Land, was the inaugural show in the new sculpture programme for the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain, London. A recent survey exhibition was co-organised by Centro de Arte de Salamanca and the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela and shown in 2002 - 2003. She was short-listed for the Turner Prize at the Tate Gallery, London in 1995, and has undertaken a residency on the DAAD International Artists' Programme, Berlin in 2003 - 2004. Hatoum lives and works in London.

Working initially with performance and video, and from the late 1980s with sculpture and installation, Hatoum's work deals with issues of identity, dislocation and constraint, and contradictory ideas of attraction and repulsion. She has for many years worked with domestic objects as a starting point for sculpture and by manipulating the context and scale, and in her choice of materials, the original use of items of furniture and various kitchen utensils is subverted and rendered hostile and menacing. Deep Throat of 1996, features a film of a journey through the artist's own body. This invasive use of a probing camera would seem to be the ultimate form of surveillance, but the billboard work, Over My Dead Body of 1988 - 2002 is the opposite, her own body here is used in an act of defiance, with the artist staring down the forces of oppression in the form of a toy soldier.

Turning Points: 20th Century British Sculpture, British Council and Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art 2004

Further reading:
Guy Brett, Catherine de Zegher, Edward Said, an interview with Michael Archer, and writings by Piero Manzoni and Mona Hatoum, Mona Hatoum, Phaidon Press Limited, London, 1997
Tamar Garb, an interview with the artist and Janine Antoni, Mona Hatoum, Centro de Arte de Salamanca; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela