Six questions for
Marge Monko

Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Marge Monko.

Artist Marge Monko
Lives in Tallinn, Estonia

How do you describe your own art practice?

I work mainly with photography, video and installation. My background is in photography, so I’m always interested in pictorial representation.  My main theoretical influences are in psychoanalysis and feminist theory. Throughout the years I’ve switched from taking the photos to use already existing material – be it archive images or advertising photo.

What was your first experience with art?

Since I didn’t show any special talents for visual art in my childhood, my encounters with it were mostly random. I was very keen on books, so the first experiences were probably browsing through some artist’ monographies we had at home.
In high school, I wanted to become a filmmaker, but decided to take on photography first. The fact that I ended up in art academy instead of filmschool was almost an accident but a very lucky one because already from day one I felt I’m in the right place.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

Images. Objects. Ideas.

What do you need in order to create your work?

Time and solitude. My thinking process is quite slow, so it takes time to find the appropriate form and format for my ideas. It is difficult for me to focus and to shut out practical things like unanswered e-mails, household and other obligations, so I’m struggling a lot to find a good workflow. But when I succeed, it’s a total bliss!

What are you working on at the moment?

Right now there are two works I’m developing. One of them is a collaboration with Katrin Kamrau and is based on the material found in the archive of Agfa-Gevaert company in Mortsel, Belgium. We started to visit the archive in the beginning of 2015 and it’s an amazing source for images and documents related to industrial production and distribution of photographic materials.

The second one is a 3D animation inspired by the advertising campaign of DeBeers in 2005 with the headline “Women of the World, Raise Your Right Hand”. Taking the story of diamonds as a point of departure, I’ll try to explore how the ideas related to desire and luxury are sustained and promoted in our culture.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

A video installation Blind Spot by Taavi Talve in Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn. Perhaps ‘surprised’ is not the most accurate description, I’d rather use the expression ‘moved’. It’s a beautifully written and directed film that tries to track down Estonian actress Epp Kotkas, who was a close collaborator of Yvonne Rainer and Babette Mangolte in 1970s.

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