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Electrified (variable III) (2021)

Mona Hatoum

kitchen utensils, furniture, electric wire, light bulb and variable transformer

The Hepworth Wakefield

Electrified (variable III) (2021)

© Mona Hatoum Photo credit: White Cube (Theo Christelis)



Sculpture, Installation


Metal, Light bulb, Wire, Variable transformer


538 x 250 x 300 cm


Presented by the Contemporary Art Society and the artist through Great Works, supported by the Sfumato Foundation, with additional support from White Cube, 2020/21

Ownership history:

Purchased from White Cube by the Contemporary Art Society from its Great Works scheme, supported by the Sfumato Foundation, White Cube and the artist; presented to The Hepworth, Wakefield, 2021
The Great Works scheme, generously supported by the Sfumato Foundation, aims to tackle the absence in UK museums of works by major British artists of the last 20 years. Electrified (variable III) has been recreated especially for The Hepworth Wakefield by Mona Hatoum, one of Britain’s most celebrated artists. Hatoum established a significant reputation during the 1980s and was included in seminal exhibitions exploring Black and Asian artists in post-war Britain. She works in a variety of media, from sculpture to large scale installations comprised of everyday objects and utensils to interrogate displacement and otherness. Hatoum’s work has narratives of diversity and inclusion at its core, which encourage audiences to consider their own place within systems of oppression. the hierarchy of social and power relations.

Encompassing a whole room, Electrified (variable III) is a work of magnificent scale and presence. It is the largest of works in this series, extending over 6ft, and includes two chairs, a colander and a light bulb, among other objects. The fluctuation of the light in the bulb creates a sense of unease and disquiet. When viewed in person, Hatoum’s installations create many transformative juxtapositions, such as familiar to strange and homely to uncomfortable. 

The Hepworth Wakefield has been addressing how traditional narratives of 20th-century contemporary British art reflect concerns of the present moment to uncover histories that speak to a diversity of experience. Hatoum was nominated for The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture in 2018. Her installation was voted the ‘people’s choice’ by the audiences who found Hatoum’s way of using familiar objects to reflect upon complex, political ideas very powerful.

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