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Monika. Museum of People in the performance "Ice". Gladbeck. 2005

instead of an overview of tendencies in Latvian set design in the last four years.” For the Prague Quadrennial, Suhanovs will create an installation in close collaboration with other Latvian artists—composer Jēkabs Nīmanis, lighting artist Krišjānis Strazdītis, and director Viesturs Meikšāns. The decision to work in a team is at the foundation of Reinis’s method.

At the Quadrennial, the installation Space in a Space will examine the issue of confused European identity—the moment of numbness and silence when the old has vanished but the new has yet to be born. The object itself will be a copy of a typical wooden country cottage, perfect from the outside but completely burnt out on the inside. Yet precisely the viewer will bring life to the work: visitors will have to go inside the house in order to completely experience the interactivity of the piece. The carefully installed sound system will react to every step and movement of visitors, symbolizing signs of life in a dead space. The huge satellite installed above visitors’ heads will bear witness to the fact that each of our steps or thoughts is connected in an infinite network, which connects one space with another, and one step with the next.

 

Monika Pormale: The Quadrennial Veteran

Monika Pormale (1974) earned a master’s degree in scenography from the Latvian Academy of Art. She began her career in Latvian art in the late nineties with installations, photography, and video works. The artist’s most renowned works, however, are her set designs for Alvis Hermanis’s productions at the New Riga Theater, as well as for productions at the Frankfurt Theater, the Ruhrtriennale, the Theater of Nations in Moscow, the Cologne Theater, the Burgtheater in Vienna, and the Munich Chamber Theater.

You could say that Monika Pormale is a Prague Quadrennial veteran. Her first Quadrennial was in 1997, when she took part in the student show with other students from the Latvian Academy of Art. In 2001 she represented Latvia at the professional exposition with her thesis project for the New Riga Theater production of Art. And then in 2009 she represented Latvia at the professional exposition as a solo artist. This year she is a member of the international jury and will show her works at the exhibition. As Pormale herself says, laughing: “There’s nowhere further to go!” Yet she recommends that everyone visit the event, because “you can see unpredictable and beautiful things there, for which the imagination alone isn’t enough.”