Artist | Mona Hatoum (*1952)

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Sonning Prize for Mona Hatoum

Sonning Prize for Mona Hatoum

Mona Hatoum receives the 2004 Sonning Prize

The 2004 Sonning Prize will be awarded to the British-Palestinian sculptor, performance and installation artist Mona Hatoum. This is the first time the Sonning Prize is awarded to a visual artist. The award will be presented on Friday, 23 April 2004 in the Ceremonial Hall at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

The Sonning Prize is awarded every other year by the University of Copenhagen to a man or woman "who has significantly contributed to the advancement of European civilization".

According to the prize committee, Mona Hatoum's contribution to the European visual arts tradition makes her an obvious recipient of the Sonning Prize. She has developed an aesthetically distinct, political language to express the experiences of refugees and immigrants and their need to balance identity somewhere between modern Europe and their non-European native countries.

As the nominating committee put it:
"In the world of culture, more specifically the world of visual arts, the British-Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum is someone who has found the most significant visual expression for the experience of 'New Europeans' as living on that unstable ground between two cultures, where you do not feel at home in either - not the one you left or fled from nor the one you have voluntarily or involuntarily become a part of."

The Committee's selection for the Sonning Prize winner is applauded by Oystein Hjort, professor in art history at the University of Copenhagen. "Mona Hatoum's works are both distinctive and visually astonishing," says Professor Hjort. "Her works reveal the individual, exposed and vulnerable, and she reflects disease, suffering and death, oppression, even torture in many of her pieces. The body is an important part of her working process, where taboos are challenged and dismantled in a continuous attempt to redefine the place of humanity in a politically infected world."

Mona Hatoum's relationship with the unsettled, fragmented and vulnerable identity felt by many "New Europeans" is nourished by personal experience with migration and exile - without this making her art a private affair. She was born in Beirut in 1952 to Palestinian parents who had been forced into exile, where she grew up with an ambivalent, unsettled sense of being both at home and homeless.

While on a visit to England at the age of 23, civil war erupted in Lebanon and she was prevented from returning home to her family. Instead, she applied to a school of art in London, where she has lived and work ever since.

Internet > Sonning Prize
Denmark's largest cultural award

About the work

About the work

Among her most notable works is her video entitled Measures of Distance, which portrays, through portrait photos and excerpts of letters to and from her mother in Beirut, the Arab woman's identity with distance and intimacy in the relationship between mother and daughter.

The installation entitled Homebound - furniture and household items united in an electrical circuit and fenced in by metal cables as a security zone - tells a story about the home and family as an unstable, exposed and dangerous zone.

Mona Hatoum's many years' work with space, body, objects and meaning has made her an important inspiration for especially younger artists.

The Sonning Prize

The Sonning Prize

The Sonning Prize is awarded according to the provisions of the Sonning Foundation. The foundation was set up by the late author and editor C.J. Sonning. It is awarded to a man or woman who has significantly contributed to the advancement of European civilization

The DKK 1 million Sonning Prize is normally awarded every other year, when possible on C.J. Sonning's birthday on 19 April.
Nominations to the Sonning Prize may be submitted by European universities. The prize winner is selected by a committee appointed by the Academic Council at the University of Copenhagen. The Committee is chaired by Linda Nielsen, rector.

Prize recipients (title and native country):
1959 - Albert Schweitzer, theologian and philosopher, Germany
1960 - Bertrand Russell, philosopher, England
1961 - Niels Bohr, physicist, Denmark
1962 - Alvar Aalto, architect, Finland
1963 - Karl Barth, theologian, Switzerland
1964 - Dominique Pire, theologian, Belgium
1965 - Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, author and statesman, Austria
1966 - Sir Laurence Olivier, actor, England
1967 - W.A. Visser't Hooft, theologian, the Netherlands
1968 - Arthur Koestler, author, Hungary
1969 - Haldor Laxness, author, Iceland
1970 - Max Tau, author, Germany
1971 - Danilo Dolci, social worker, Italy
1973 - Karl Popper, philosopher, Austria
1975 - Hannah Arendt, political theoretician, Germany
1977 - Arne Naess, philosopher, Norway
1979 - Herman Gmeiner, founder of the SOS Children's Villages, Austria
1981 - Dario Fo, playwright, actor, director, Italy
1983 - Simone de Beauvoir, author, France
1985 - William Heinesen, author, Faroe Islands
1987 - Jurgen Habermas, philosopher and sociologist, Germany
1989 - Ingmar Bergman, film and theatre director, Sweden
1991 - Vaclav Havel, author and head of state, the Czech Republic
1994 - Krzysztof Kieslowski, film director, Poland
1996 - Gunter Grass, author, Germany
1998 - Jorn Utzon, architect, Denmark
2000 - Eugenio Barba, theatre director and founder of the Odin Theatre, Italy
2002 - Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for human rights, Ireland
2004 - Mona Hatoum, visual artist, Lebanon
An extra prize was awarded in 1950 to Sir Winston Churchill.

Internet > Sonning Prize
Denmark's largest cultural award

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Mathaf - Arab Museum of Modern ...

Mona Hatoum

Opening: 07-02-2014 at 11:00 am

From: 07-02-2014 to 18-05-2014

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Exhibition History 

Exhibition History

SUMMARY based on artist-info records. More details and Visualizing Art Networks on demand.
Venue types: Gallery / Museum / Non-Profit / Collector
Exhibitions in artist-info 167 (S 42/ G 125) Did show together with - Top 5 of 2758 artists
(no. of shows) - all shows - Top 100
Bruce Nauman (19)- 614
Félix González-Torres (17)- 200
Louise Bourgeois [Louise Goldwater] (15)- 351
Andy Warhol (13)- 943
Damien Hirst (13)- 166
Exhibitions by type
167:   45 / 67 / 51 / 4
Venues by type
119:   21 / 48 / 47 / 3
Curators 76
artist-info records Jan 1990 - Jun 2024
Countries - Top 5 of 24
Germany (40)
United States (38)
United Kingdom (13)
Switzerland (9)
Italy (5)
Cities - Top 5 of 84
New York (22)
Berlin (19)
London (13)
München (4)
Chicago (4)
Venues (no. of shows ) Top 5 of 119
Alexander and Bonin (13)
Galerie Max Hetzler - Goethestraße 2/3 (7)
Museum of Modern Art - MoMA (1/7) (5)
White Cube - Hoxton Sq (4)
Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art (3)
Curators (no. of shows) Top 5 of 76
René Block(3), Lynn Kost(2), Maria Lind(2), Russell Ferguson(2), Kerry Brougher(2)
Offers/Requests Exhibition Announcement S / G Solo/Group Exhibitions   (..) Exhibitions + Favorites
PermalinkExhibition TitleExhibition Title

Stellung beziehen

Kunsthalle Bielefeld G Mar 2024 - Jun 2024 Bielefeld (244) +0
Mund, Henrike (Curator)       +0
Végh, Christina (Curator)       +0
PermalinkExhibition TitleExhibition Title

Vedo Rosso

 - Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati
Museo d'arte della Svizzera italiana Lugano - MASI G Mar 2022 - Jun 2022 Lugano (11) +0
PermalinkExhibition TitleExhibition Title


 - Aspekte zeitgeössischer Skulptur
Kunst Museum Winterthur G May 2021 - Aug 2021 Winterthur (160) +1
Bitterli, Konrad (Curator)       +0
Kost, Lynn (Curator)       +0
PermalinkExhibition TitleExhibition Title

Bewegte Bilder

 - Aus der Schenkung Heinz E. Toggenburger
Kunst Museum Winterthur G Sep 2020 - Nov 2020 Winterthur (160) +1
Bitterli, Konrad (Curator)       +0
Kost, Lynn (Curator)       +0
PermalinkExhibition TitleExhibition Title

Mappa mundi

 - Cartographies contemporaines
Boghossian Foundation - Villa Empain G Mar 2020 - Oct 2020 Bruxelles (1) +0
PermalinkExhibition TitleExhibition Title

Atlas 1

Fondazione Prada G Mar 2017 - Apr 2017 Milano (3) +0
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