Mona Hatoum: Twelve Windows

Twelve Windows, conceived by artist Mona Hatoum, was created in collaboration with Inaash, a Lebanese non-governmental organization founded in 1969 to generate employment for Palestinian women in Lebanese refugee camps. The installation is on display in conjunction with the Museum’s Arts of the Islamic World Gala, held on January 30.

Twelve embroidered pieces of fabric, or “windows”—one-meter-square each—are attached with wooden clothes-pegs to steel cables stretched between two walls. Every window, through its stitches and patterns, represents a key region of Palestine.

Visitors are invited to navigate their way through the installation. The network of steel cables crisscrosses the length of Twelve Windows, acting as hurdles and evoking the physical and mental barriers that make up the everyday experience of countless people around the world.

Researched and designed by Malak Husseini Abdulrahim, the panels extend the long-standing tradition of Palestinian embroidery, passed from mother to daughter, which today is among the most tangible and enduring facets of Palestinian culture. Hatoum was born into a Palestinian family in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1952, and she has lived and worked in London since 1975.
 

"Mona Hatoum: Twelve Windows" is presented courtesy of the artist and Alexander and Bonin Gallery, New York, in honor of the 2015 Arts of the Islamic World Gala.