A comparable contemporary installation to Judy Chicago’s artwork The Dinner Party (1979) (see previous blog post) is Homebound (2000) created by Lebanese-born Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum.
This work also reflects the private domain so often associated with female creativity. The installation comprises of a kitchen setting with domestic metallic furniture (e.g. table, lamp, utensils).
However, all objects are connected by apparently live wires. Hatoum utilises light bulbs which flicker and sounds of electric humming to intensify a disconcerting atmosphere, and so subverting expectations of familiar and safe notions of household space.
Horizontal wires also restrict access to this arena therefore combining suggestions of home with ideas of imprisonment and torture. While like Chicago, the artist also subverts and questions assumptions about ‘feminine space’, Hatoum’s ideas of home combine familiar associations of nurturing and care with disturbance on both a physical and psychological level.
This, obviously, offers ideas of domestic life far from the traditional ideal. In turn, the work may be considered with the artist’s own origins in Beirut and relocation to the West. While summoning a gendered interpretation, such as raising the subject of domestic violence, this contemporary work may also raise further more complex interpretations concerning issues of dislocation, ethnicity and conflict.