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Monika Pormale
Box No. 10

Monika Pormale /Latvia/

"Once upon a time I happened to meet an old photographer in a small city by the seaside. He was taking pictures for passports, but for the last 60 years he had not changed his equipment for making art photos. His studio looked as memorable as his glass plate camera - stuffed with his parade photos, cuttings from old newspapers, props and backdrops, which he was using to create backgrounds for photos, and other artefacts. For my portrait, I chose a rough seascape - almost like in the paintings of the old Russian master Aivazovsky."

"I recalled this meeting one evening while I was studying how to visualize the stage with the help of computer programs. I remembered making my first scale model – figures of actors were made from clay, tiny curtains from the pieces of my old, red velvet jacket, matches and clock springs were used to make furniture. At this particular moment I understood that my Exhibit No.10 is a monument to the craftsmanship in scenography and other professions, an attempt to capture the unique skills, the unbounded patience and true passion of handicraft inevitably fading away."      

Monika Pormale

The project is realised with the help of students from the Stage Design Department of the Latvian Academy of Arts.

Bio: Monika Pormale studied stage design and textile arts in Riga. Her installations, photos, and art-actions, including Riga Dating Agency (2000), have been exhibited in numerous international exhibitions. For last decade Monika Pormale has worked mainly as a scenographer and costume designer for theatre, and since 2000 had worked closely with director Alvis Hermanis at the New Riga Theatre as well as in theatres in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Russia. Her visual art works and installations have been presented in a range of European galleries, and she was the first designer to be commissioned by spielzeit’europa | Berliner Festspiele to create a project for the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, where she made a giant photo installation.

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