Mobile Home II 2006


The Linda Pace Foundation, Ruby City is pleased to announce the acquisition of Mona Hatoum’s large-scale installation, Mobile Home II (2006). This seminal work has been shown internationally and will be on view in Ruby City’s forthcoming Fall collection-derived group exhibition, Water Ways. The exhibition will be celebrated with an opening reception on Saturday, September 9th. Hatoum will be present and participate in an informal gallery walkthrough featuring the work at 2pm, followed by a reception from 3-5pm. 

Mobile Home II 2006
Mona Hatoum, Mobile Home II, 2006; furniture, household objects, suitcases, galvanized steel barriers, three electric motors and pulley system, 46 7/8 x 86 5/8 x 236 1/4 in. Linda Pace Foundation Collection, Ruby City, San Antonio, Texas, © Mona Hatoum, Courtesy Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin. Photo: Jens Ziehe.

Mobile Home II, presents an installation of furniture and household possessions that continually shift along horizontal wires strung between two metal police barriers. Domestic objects, such as chairs, tables, bowls, children’s toys, an assortment of kitchen towels as well as objects that refer to travel, such as suitcases and rolled-up bedding etc., all hang or are connected to laundry lines that slowly move back and forth between the parallel barriers. As the title implies, the result is a condensed home (complete with all the furnishings) that is in perpetual, barely perceptible, motion. Hatoum, an internationally-renowned artist, is perhaps best known for her large-scale installations which, like Mobile Home II, utilize or represent everyday objects and motifs such as furniture, kitchen utensils, shoes, maps or globes. These touchstones have served as the foundation for her works which reflect larger issues related to “home”, displacement, gender concerns and the body. These concepts and the rigor with which she investigates and executes them, have formed the basis of her practice for over 40 years along with an adept understanding of the viewer experience.

Mobile Home II, taps into as the artist has put it, “precariousness” and the “basic human condition of exile,” as exemplified by the continuous movement inherent to the work. Though made in 2006, it easily connects to contemporary global accounts of scores of individuals migrating as a result of social or geopolitical unrest. In the context of San Antonio, Mobile Home II takes on another layer of meaning that can allude to the violence and uncertainty associated with the Mexican border, only 150 miles away. This work also reflects Hatoum’s sustained interest in addressing the fraught space of the home. The artist regularly questions the collective perception of “home” as being stable or a place of respite and welcome, especially since she often positions the home as a metaphor for one’s homeland. Nothing is permanent and with so much seemingly global political unrest and destabilization the comfort and sanctity of one’s country may easily shift, be lost or perhaps never even exist. 

This work joins several others by Hatoum in the Linda Pace Foundation, Ruby City Collection such as: an early video work, So much I want to say (1983), T42 (1993-1998) a limited edition multiple and three Untitled rubbings of various colanders on wax paper (1996 & 1997). Mobile Home II enables Ruby City to more fully represent Hatoum’s propensity to work in multiple mediums. Furthermore, this work exemplifies the artist’s renown for crafting ambitious works, in terms of scale and technical complexity. 

As Director Elyse A. Gonzales states, this installation is doubly significant for the Foundation’s Collection because, as she states, “this terrific work is also part of a unique lineage of works which has its roots in Linda Pace’s philanthropy. Mobile Home II is the fourth in a series revolving around the idea of home and which incorporate household objects. The first work conceived in this series, Home (1999) was initially made during Hatoum’s Artpace residency in San Antonio. Ruby City (and Artpace) founder, Linda Pace met the artist at this time and began acquiring the examples already in the Collection. We are thrilled to have such an excellent example of Mona’s work and to see how Linda’s legacy lives on.” 

Mona Hatoum will be present for the opening of Water Ways, a group exhibition in which her work is featured. At the public opening on Saturday, September 9th @ 2pm Hatoum will participate in an informal exhibition walk through with Director Elyse A. Gonzales, followed by a public reception from 3-5pm which will feature music and refreshments. 

Mona Hatoum was born into a Palestinian family in Beirut, Lebanon in 1952 and has lived and worked in London since 1975. Her work has been the subject of numerous solo museum exhibitions including: KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2022-23); Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin (2022-23); Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2022); Magasin III, Stockholm (2022); Menil Collection, Houston, Texas, touring to Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, MO (2017-18); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, touring to Tate Modern, London and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (2015-16); Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha (2014); Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (2012); Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2009); Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney (2005); Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, touring to Magasin III, Stockholm and Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany (all 2004); Tate Britain, London (2000); Castello di Rivoli, Turin (1999); Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, touring to New Museum, New York (1997). She has also participated in numerous important group exhibitions including Documenta 14, Kassel, Germany and Athens (both 2017); 15th Biennale of Sydney (2006); 51st Venice Biennale (2005); Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany (2002); and The Turner Prize Exhibition, Tate Britain, London (1995). Among other awards, Hatoum has received the Praemium Imperiale awarded by the Japan Art Association (2019), the 10th Hiroshima Art Prize (2017) and the Joan Miró Prize (2011). Her work can be found in collections throughout the world.