Mona Hatoum: Over my Dead Body, 2005


In this work a billboard shows Hatoum’s face in profile, as she stares down a toy soldier perched on her nose. A sense of humor enlivens this photograph, as Hatoum’s haughty stare makes oppression and war seem tiny, even laughable. She stares at the soldier the way one might look at an annoying fly. The image steeped in contradictions, expressing both a towering strength of conviction and an ironic vulnerability in relations between men and women, civilian and soldier. Hatoum attempts to interpose her own body as a metaphor for the condition of people who suffered because of war. The inspiration comes from the realm of politics, but the artist chose a more indirect, implicit way of expressing it.