In spatial installations Monika Nowak is unfolding stories inspired by dramatic, real life events. Instead of presenting a narrative, however, Nowak creates a setting; freezing the moment in time between what has already happened and what might still occur. It is a timeless fragment clearly part of a story, but without revealing its entirety. This leaves the spectator to stumble upon mysterious clues, laden with suspense, that could help putting what really happened together piece by piece.
While Nowak’s work refers to real life situations with a dark or dramatic undertone, it tends to appear lighthearted and comical. By using colour blocking, absurdist compositions, and by playing with the scale of objects in the space, reality becomes distorted by the artificiality of the installation. Most of Nowak’s works also include interventions in which a performer interacts with the space. As with the installations themselves, these interactions are not (re)enactments of parts of the story, but add a sense of mystery and suspense while further deepening the theatricality of Nowak’s work.