Changing Parts

Mona Hatoum

UK/CANADA, UK, Canada, 1984
25 minutes, B&W, stereo
Available formats: DVD / Digibeta tape / SD Digital file

Intercutting between London and Beirut during the war in Lebanon, ‘Changing Parts’ is Hatoum’s response to the helplessness of being far away while bombs fall on the city where her parents live. In a striking reversal, the images from peaceful London are frenzied while the Beirut images are calm, a child’s memory of safety in the haven of the family bathroom. Performing in London, the artist, naked, struggles inside a polyethylene-walled container, whose sloping sides and floor prevent her from standing up, its floor covered with mud. As Hatoum struggles to rise, her limbs mark the sides of the container until they become a palimpsest of muddy traces.

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