Twelve Daily Questions to Estonian artist Marge Monko
Marge Monko (born 1976) is an artist living and working in Tallinn, Estonia and Ghent. She has studied in Estonian Academy of Arts (MA in Photography, 2008) and in University of Applied Arts in Vienna. From January 2013 she is participating in a 2-year postacademic program in HISK (Higher Institute for Contemporary Art) in Gent, Belgium.
Monko’s main mediums are photography and video. She has examined psychoanalysis and it’s impact on gender representation in visual culture. Her recent subject is gender and work in the context of paradigmatic changes of labour politics.
Monko has had solo exhibitions in Tallinn, Tartu, Helsinki and Budapest. Since 2004 she has participated in several group exhibitions, a.o. in Manifesta9, Genk, 2012, curated by Cuathemoc Medina and in Biennale of Young Artists in Tallinn autumn 2007 curated by Rael Artel and Anneli Porri. In 2012, Monko was awarded Henkel Art.Award.
From July 4th through the 31st, the “Ofisa” gallery of the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art is hosting the second part of the group show “Revisiting Footnotes”. Marge Monko is among artists featured from Lithuania, Hungaria, Finland and Latvia. Last week she opened a solo exhibition “How To Wear Red?” in Tartu Art Museum, which will remain open until August 25th.
What’s the best moment of your day?
In the morning when my coffee is ready.
Why do you work as an artist?
In order to survive as a human being.
Which films, concerts, exhibits, or books have left a lasting impression on you?
Short stories by Mati Unt and J. D. Salinger, films by Leida Laius, Helke Sander, John Cassavetes.
Where do you currently get ideas for your works?
I’m often inspired by some texts – fiction or theory and visual material that in some way is connected to topics I’m interested in – be it contemporary or classical art, archive images, found photos or advertisements.
Which work(s) of art would you like to have in your possession?
That list would be a long one. Among other things – perhaps a photo by Lee Miller, or some object by Meret Oppenheim. Actually, this question reminded me that I’ve been thinking of buying a collage by Estonian artist Helju Sarnet Zauram for some time now. She’s 90 year old and still active as an artist.
What do you do when you’re not occupied with art?
Thinking about art. My colleague Marco Laimre once said that an artist is like a spy – always working.
Do you sleep a lot?
I’d like to sleep more! 8 hours of sleep is a minimum for me in order to function.
Do you collect anything?
I’ve got a small collection of photos and negatives found from flea markets in different cities. These are mainly photos of family life and leisure; I don’t have any plans with them right now.
What is one of the most important things in your studio?
A computer, a camera and a notebook.
What do you like to eat, and what don’t you like?
I like vegetables in every form. In this time of the year I’m enjoying okroshkaal most every second day.
I don’t like pork or red fish.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be?
Name three creative individuals, from any era, with whom you’d gladly spend an evening.
Probably with some of my closest colleagues and friends.
Red Dawn (Punane Koit), 2013, HD video, 04:10
A still from video Shaken Not Stirred (2010), single channel HD video, 19:38