Mona Hatoum first became known in the early 1980s for a series of performance and video pieces which used her own body as a site for exploring the fragility and strength of the human condition under duress. Performance Still 1985 records one of three street performances which Hatoum carried out in Brixton for the Roadworks exhibition organised in 1985 by the Brixton Artists Collective. The performance consisted of the artist walking barefoot through the streets of Brixton for nearly an hour, with Doc Marten boots, usually worn by both police and skinheads, attached to her ankles by their laces. Performance Still, printed and published ten years later turns the original documentary photograph of the performance into a work in its own right, and has therefore come to identify this aspect of Hatoum’s practice.
Gallery label, October 2013
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