Large-scale globe casts Earth in an emergency-red glow


Currently on display in the exhibition ‘Air’ at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Mona Hatoum’s large-scale globe Hot Spot 2006 maps the continents in startling red neon, casting viewers in an emergency-red glow. Hot Spot is at once a map and model of the Earth: an underlying structure laid bare; an energy system; and a stainless-steel cage measuring just over two metres in circumference.

Air | Timed tickets on sale
GOMA, until 23 April 2023

Mona Hatoum ‘Hot Spot’

Installation view of Hot Spot (detail) 2006, ‘Air’ GOMA 2022 / Photograph: J Ruckli © QAGOMA

‘Hot spots’ are often understood as distant conflict zones that are seen as ‘other’ or isolated. By extending a sense of heat across the entire globe, Hatoum complicates this sense of distance, suggesting that geopolitical conflict affects us all. Hatoum proposes our whole planet is a hot spot, constantly redefined by the struggle for power: whether through war, disease, social unrest or structural inequity. Hatoum seeks to bring the experiences of those suffering or living without freedom into the gallery, creating a space of shared social consciousness.

Throughout human history, globes have symbolised travel, freedom and discovery but Hot Spot conveys a world that is wired, dangerous and overheating. With global warming affecting every region on Earth, today the work assumes a new environmental urgency as a sizzling omen of change to come.

Edited extract from the accompanying exhibition publication Air available at the QAGOMA Store and online.

Mona Hatoum, Lebanon/United Kingdom b.1952 / Installation view of Hot Spot 2006, ‘Air’ GOMA 2022 / Stainless steel and neon tube / 230 x 223 x 223cm / The David and Indrė Roberts Collection / Courtesy: The Roberts Institute of Art, London / Photographs: M Campbell © QAGOMA

Air’ / Gallery of Modern Art, Gallery 1.1 (The Fairfax Gallery), Gallery 1.2 & Gallery 1.3 (Eric and Marion Taylor Gallery) / 26 November 2022 to 23 April 2023