Marge Monko
Women of the World, Raise Your Right Hand
8. March 2018. - 28. April
Opening: 7. March 2018 at 18:00
Remarks by: Szipőcs Krisztina
Marge Monko’s latest solo exhibition investigate the phenomenon of beauty, desire, luxury and fertility and its representations, by collecting imagery and slogans of the mainstream advertisement industry. The presented video-work, photographs and installations explore the relationship between publicity and cultural values of the female self.

The title of the exhibition Women of the World, Raise Your Right Hand was a slogan from the campaign by De Beers, a company selling diamonds. Released in 2003, it was addressed to independent women who could afford their own diamond ring. Being worn on the right hand, this ring is also referred to as the power ring. It symbolizes wealth and social standing that is no longer bound to another person. Ironically, the slogan that has connotations of feminism and activism, is serving unambiguous commercial purposes.

The video-work, which is entitled WOW (Women of the World) presents how the myth of diamonds as symbols of love was created with the help of product placement and advertising campaigns. It shows hand gestures well-known from popular culture, advertisements and politics, meanwhile the voice over tells the story of diamonds and their cultural history.

The Untitled Collages is a photo series of cut-outs from the negatives of female models posing with jewellery. The artist found the images on eBay, hence their exact origin and date of creation is unknown. The interesting variations of gestures create rhythm and a conversation between the images itself and the main notion of the show. Seeing that hands and their gestures are an interlacing motif of the entire exhibition.

Another set of work with the title Angel Eye, Hawk Eye and Demon Eye is a photo installation, which consists of vintage advertisements and LED lights. On the photos, graceful female hands are holding consumer goods - porcelain, skin oil and lingerie. In contrast the images are accompanied by different shapes of lights that are usually used in cars or motorcycles.

Touching on the questions of the superficially constructed female values, Marge Monko examines the the storytelling powers of commercialism’s impacts, the impermanent matter of generated symbols and the objectification of the female hand, body and identity.