Bourj II


Mild steel tubing

180 x 50 x 75 cm (70 7/8 x 19 11/16 x 29 1/2 in.)

In Arabic, the word bourj refers to a tower or a large building. Based on this notion, Palestinian-born plastic artist Mona Hatoum has created a minimalist installation exclusively composed of steel beams that are simply piled onto each other in order to gain height. On closer look, one can see on the surface traces of punctures, cuts and burns.

Mona Hatoum manages to convey some vulnerability to steel, a solid and cold industrial material. In other words, the impermanence of brute force. Part of a series of three similar installations, both in the technique used and in their composition, Bourj II could refer to the Lebanese civil war and all the destruction endured by the city of Beirut, the Lebanese capital where the artist was born.

Held in the Pinault Collection, Bourj II was presented in the group show À Triple tour. Collection Pinault (“triple locked”) at the Paris Conciergerie, in 2013.