The show’s energy is charged here through more pieces, such as Keffieh (1993–99), Hatoum’s take on a traditional male Palestinian headdress but sewn with female hair; and Hot Spot (2013), a steel globe whose continents are outlined in red neon to convey that the whole planet—and possibly the shared doom of global warming—is infernal. This is the physical heart of the show, where Home (1999) ironically resides; kitchen utensils buzz and light up from an electric wire. “I don’t like to build rooms, but we had to here,” says Hatoum of the space housing Home as well as a year’s amount of the artist’s fingernails in One Year (2006) (2007) and Silence (1994), a fragile glass baby cot made of laboratory tubes. Another baby cot, Incommunicado (1993), made in steel with wires in place of a mattress, is also shown in the same block.
One fears being swallowed by the tentacles of the giant floor piece, Undercurrent (red) (2008), which lays, notably, near the Surrealist Jardin Public (1993), a classic French garden chair with a triangle of Hatoum’s pubic hair on its seat. “Someone told me Victor Hugo kept his hair,” laughs Van Assche. It’s a light ending to a heavy show, easing off the pressure created by Hatoum’s other 109 works on view. They suck one in as fast as quicksand and leave one transfixed with thought.