Marge Monko

Marge Monko is a feminist photographic artist who lives and works in Tallinn. The most important topic in her work is the position of women in society as well as labour and workforce policy. In 2012, Monko became the first Estonian artist to win the Henkel Art Award designated to support Eastern and Central European culture, which was accompanied by a solo exhibition at Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna. The same year, she was one of the nominees for the Köler Prize from the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia. Monko graduated in 2008 from the Estonian Academy of Arts photography master’s programme. Starting in 2004, she has taken part in many group exhibitions in Estonia and abroad, including the Manifesta 9 roving biennial of contemporary art in 2012. From 2013-2015, she was in the two-year post-academic programme of the Geneva Higher Institute for Fine Arts. Monko’s recent works are based on representations of yearning and romance in modern (consumer) culture, showing how deeply the concepts depend on societal context systems history.  This approach is illustrated by “Nimetud kollaažid / La Gioconda” (“Untitled Collages / La Gioconda”, 2014-2015), which are based on old negative photos of jewellery ads bought on eBay, where the models’ hands are almost invariably in positions similar to a Renaissance Madonna.

Marge Monko. Untitled Collages V. 2014. Silver gelatin print. 40 x 30 cm. Edition: 3 + 1 AP