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Sept. 17: Artist Mona Hatoum To Give Carnegie Mellon School of Art's 2007 Robert Lepper Distinguished Lecture, Sept. 28

Contact: Eric Sloss                          

Artist Mona Hatoum To Give Carnegie Mellon School of Art's
2007 Robert Lepper Distinguished Lecture, Sept. 28

PITTSBURGH — Performance artist Mona Hatoum will give the Carnegie Mellon University School of Art Robert Lepper Distinguished Lecture in Creative Inquiry at 7 p.m., Sept. 28 in the University Center's McConomy Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Hatoum's early works explored issues of politics and gender. Her sculptures and large-scale sculptural installations deal with themes of incarceration, surveillance, borders and boundaries. In recent works, everyday objects are rendered as potentially dangerous and materials are used in a visceral way to make metaphors for violence, pain and danger.    

Hatoum was born in 1952 to a Palestinian family living in Beirut, Lebanon. When civil war broke out in Lebanon in 1975, she was forced to stay in London and studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and the Slade School of Art.

In a 1998 interview in BOMB magazine, Hatoum discussed the impact of her tumultuous background on her work. "This is an environment in constant flux, no single point of view, no solid frame of reference. There is a sense of instability and restlessness in the work. This is the way in which the work is informed by my background," she said. However, Hatoum also stressed that her work is not always about her background and that she likes to contradict expectations. 

"As her reputation has grown and she has become more of an international artist, her subject matter has become broader in scope and reference, dealing with more global and universal themes," said John Carson, head of Carnegie Mellon's School of Art. "Her work is challenging and uncompromising. It confronts us with many of the more uncomfortable personal, psychological and political aspects of living in a troubled world."

Hatoum's career took off in the early 1980s. In 1994, she was nominated for The Turner Prize, one of Britain's most prestigious art awards. She has had solo exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (1994), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (1997), The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (1998), Tate Britain in London (2000) and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia (2005).

Visit for more information on Hatoum and the School of Art lecture series.