Description: Deep Throat
wood, masonite, cloth, glass, metal, paint, disc player, monitor and laser disc
29 3/4 x 33 1/2 x 33 1/2 in. (75.5 x 85 x 85cm.)
Executed in 1996, this work is number three from an edition of three
Artist or Maker: Mona Hatoum (b. 1952)
Literature: M. Archer, G. Brett and C. de Zegher, Mona Hatoum, London 1997 (another from the edition illustrated in colour, p. 14).
Sensation-Young British Artits from the Saatchi Collection, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London 1997 (another from the edition illustrated in colour, p. 91).
Z. Felix, Emotion. Young British amd American Art from the Goetz collection, Ostfildern-Ruit 1998 (another from the edition illustrated in colour, p. 53).
Mona Hatoum, exh. cat., Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg 2004 (another from the edition illustrated, p. 48-49).
Provenance: Alexander & Bonin, New York.
Notes: Property from a Private American Collection
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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 that of the cult porno movie starring Linda Lovelace and 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 sculpture 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. Exhibited at the Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in 1997, Deep Throat like Corps d'étranger or Look no body is an important part of Hatoum's exploration of societal attitudes to the human body.
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