In Hatoum's work, carpets refer at once to Minimalist floor sculptures, Muslim prayer rugs, and commonplace domestic furnishings. Rubber Mat combines these associations with another of the artist's foremost preoccupations: the human body. With its pattern of intestines, this work turns the body inside out, bringing its deepest recesses to the surface. While the work's supple surface is appealing, Hatoum notes that Rubber Mat also "looks like entrails splayed out all over the floor, as if it's the aftermath of a massacre. There’s a kind of attraction/repulsion operating here."
Gallery label from Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions, 1940s to Now, May 5–August 16, 2010.