The exhibition Great Pretender is open from September 18th to November 28th, 2021. Kai Art Center is open for visitors from Wednesday to Sunday 12pm-7pm.
Sharing a fascination with consumer images and objects from the world of 20th century advertising and display, the two artists Gabriele Beveridge and Marge Monko exhibit together for the first time, showing new and recent works. Gabriele Beveridge will present sculptural works constructed on the basis of shop-fittings, hand-blown glass, photographic chemicals and mannequin parts. Marge Monko will exhibit a series of photos of window displays as well as a new video exploring the symbolic, cultural and aesthetic meaning of stockings in history. Choreography for the video Sheer Indulgence, performed by four dancers, is inspired by commercials for stockings from the 1970s and 1980s as well as specific historic events like the shortage of stockings during the Second World War. Premiering at Kai, the music for the video was created by Estonian sonic duo Helen Västrik and Ave Vellesalu under the name Vera Vice.
The exhibition text was written by art critic and director of Der Neue Essener Kunstverein Moritz Scheper. According to Scheper, “Beveridge and Monko each examine the ways in which enchantment is staged within consumer contexts, and in both cases this analysis is inseparable from the question of how the formative character of these techniques effects the self-understanding – and above all the self-image – of women.”
Gabriele Beveridge (b. 1985, Hong Kong) lives and works in London. Through strategies of selection, framing and recombination Beveridge reconfigures the hierarchies of commercial images and objects. Her diverse assemblages, including hand-blown glass, shop-fittings and found images, seek to examine the relationship between the shared access that everyone might have to the visual languages that saturate our contemporary existence and the special access that each of us has to personal memory. Recent solo exhibitions include Softened Future Life at FreeHouse (London, 2020), Tender Greed at Bradley Ertaskiran (Montreal, 2019), Live Dead World at Seventeen (London, 2018), Eternity Anyways at Chewday’s, (London, 2016), Mainland at MOT (Brussels, 2015), Health and Strength at La Salle de Bains (Lyon, 2014).
Marge Monko (b. 1976, Tallinn) lives and works in Tallinn, Estonia. She has studied in Estonian Academy of Arts and in HISK (Higher Institute for Fine Arts) in Ghent, Belgium, and works with photography, video and installation. Her works are inspired by historical images and influenced by theories of psychoanalysis, feminism and visual culture. She works as a professor in the Photography Department of Estonian Academy of Arts. Monko has had solo exhibitions in Folkwang Museum (Essen, 2019) and in mumok (Vienna, 2013). She has shown her work in Riga Biennial of Contemporary Art RIBOCA1 (Riga, 2018), Manifesta 9 (Genk, 2012) and at COSAR HMT gallery (Düsseldorf, 2021).
The exhibition is supported by the Estonian Cultural Endowment and Tallinn Culture and Sports Department.