I spent time in London and got a chance to visit some galleries, and this was my favourite exhibition.
I loved the visceral, tactile nature of Hatoum’s work, the way everyday domestic objects were repurposed to create visual effects of patterns and geometries, and to evoke powerful emotions, often fear and threat. The best though were the most abstract. The black cube first encountered on entering the gallery was just demanding to be touched, as it seemed to be made of hair, or something soft and organic, but was actually iron filings. It was mysterious, other worldly, and looked like a scale model of the Kaaba.
My favourite piece of all though was + and -, a large circle of sand with a mechanical rotating arm, one side of which raked the sand, the other smoothed it. It was a paradox in motion, marking and erasing, doing and undoing, a continuous cycle, and hypnotic in its effect.
Kate MccGwire mentioned Hatoum as an influence, as she relates to the “intricate and repetitive” nature of the process of making. I found that this resonated with me, and describes a lot of the work that I admire, such as Xu Bing, Agnes Martin.