• City Gallery of Contemporary Art


Temporary Structures 4

Sheer Indulgence

  1. PLATO Bauhaus, Janáčkova 22

Marge Monko

Michal Novotný


The temporary structure “display” differs from the others, in that it does not have a clearly defined function that would substantially predetermine its form, such as the café, library or cloakroom. The function of the display structure is to present art in all its durable and temporary, material and immaterial forms. In English, the word “display” stands not only for the computer screen, but is also used for hanging out a flag, reading cards, exhibiting works of art or products in a shop window, or manifesting courage or ignorance. Generally speaking, it points to the fact that the way of presentation is never neutral, but rather always bears some kind of a message.

“The display is gradually created by four invited artists whose work involves ideological deconstruction of various forms of exhibiting. The goal is to create four artistic installations, each of them achieving a certain specific kind of space that does not try to be neutral, but invites to a specific type of presentation. All the four installations will remain on site and will become a part of exhibitions, performances and all other activities taking place in PLATO in the future.

The second artist featured is Marge Monko (*1976) from Estonia, originally a photographer who gradually shifted to manipulations of existing found material. The core of her work consists of asking how advertising and the presentation of certain commodities define womanhood in present-day society. She is concerned with subconscious mechanisms lying beyond visual representation, with the thousands of images that can be encountered every day and the different narratives and associations, codes and strategies on the basis of which they are constructed so as to be subconsciously seductive, to evoke feelings of desire. In recent years Marge Monko has worked with historical promotional campaigns for watches, wedding rings, the presentation of jewels in jewellery shop-windows, and with contraceptive pills as well. The PLATO project draws on the graphic design and texts of historical packaging of ladies’ stockings, touching strongly the motif of transparency, one of the most prominent value ideologies, the roots of which date back to the Enlightenment and which is a significant element in the architectural construction of the Bauhaus building as well.”

Michal Novotný

Marge Monko (*1976, Tallinn, EST) graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, with a degree in photography. Her primary interest in photography and the moving image was gradually supplemented with three-dimensional installations and exhibition structures. In her work she reflects on present-day topics with regard to historical events; she is concerned with the role of women in society and their position in the world of advertising, psychological effects in visual culture or psychoanalysis. She heads the Photography Studio at the Estonian Academy of Arts; she has received the Henkel.Art.Award and the HISK scholarship in Ghent. Besides a number of significant group exhibitions, she has exhibited individually at mumok, Vienna and at the Winterthur Fotomuseum.



photo: Martin Polák
photo: Martin Polák
photo: Martin Polák