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The bed is no longer somewhere for rest or privacy in this sculpture. Hatoum has precisely reproduced the form of a single bed so that the top surface swells along the edges like a soft mattress. But any suggestion of comfort is denied by the steel plate material she has chosen, more usually associated with industrial architecture or military defences. The textured metal would leave an imprint on the flesh of anyone lying on the divan. This relates to Hatoum’s earlier performance and video work exploring forms of physical and political oppression.

March 2010