Mona Hatoum, who is Palestinian in origin and currently resides in London and
Berlin, draws on her biographical experience as an expatriate to create works that investigate themes related to oppression, violence, dislocation and the vulnerability of the body in these situations. Sometimes the artist makes her installations using simple household objects, such as tables, chairs and kitchen equipment. Transforming them into fields traversed by electrical current or modifying their scale and proportions, Hatoum emphasizes their potential threatening charge, exposing the strong political significance that the concept of home can have.
In Undercurrent (Red), the artist utilizes the form of a carpet to create a field traversed by strong voltage. Traditionally associated with the idea of prayer or of domestic warmth, Hatoum’s carpet, in contrast, becomes a potentially lethal microcosm that, instead of welcoming, pushes away those who approach.