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Lot 119: Mona Hatoum (B. 1952)
February 6, 2002
London, United Kingdom
Description: Deep Throat table, chair, television, glass plate, fork, knife, water glass, laser disc, laser disc player 35 x 331/2 x 51 1/8in. (89 x 85 x 130cm.) Executed in 1996, this work is number two from an edition of three. LITERATURE Z. Felix (ed.), 'Emotion. Young British and American Art from the Goetz Collection', Ostfildern-Ruit 1998 (another from the edition illustrated in colour, p. 53; detail illustrated in colour, p. 52). NOTES Part of Mona Hatoum's ongoing investigation of the body and the social hierarchy that is often applied to its five orifices - a hierarchy that makes some aspects of our bodies taboo - 'Deep Throat' is a work that plays with the social niceties of eating in a restaurant by also exposing the physical reality of such an act. The humourous title which was also the title of a cult porno movie starring Linda Lovelace as well as the name of the government informer on the Watergate scandal, is a deliberate pun on the visual function of the work. At first glance, the installation appears to be an ordinary restaurant-like table setting for one. On the plate, framed by a knife and fork, however, appears the video image of an endoscopic journey through the mouth and into the stomach that the diner's food would take. Appearing on the plate, inevitable parallels between the meat we eat and the living meat of the human body are immediately brought to mind as the shock of the realisation of what we are seeing registers. At the same time the overt contradiction between the smart cleanliness of the place-setting and the ugly physical reality of the internal action that takes place all the time at such tables is a startling conjunction of opposites typical of Hatoum's work. 'Deep Throat' like 'Corps d'Etranger' or 'Look no Body' is an important part of Hatoum's exploration of societal attitudes to the human body.