Neue Berliner Räume is pleased to announce Echoes of Voices in the High Towers, an exhibition project with British artist Robert Montgomery that will take place over the course of summer 2012. Next to three Billboard piecesin front of the old Tempelhof Airport building and two illuminated poem sculptures in the park of the disused airport, Montgomery`s poems will be presented anonymously on ten large sized billboard advertising spaces across the city. Ten more works will follow during the summer. The presentation of his open air installations will be accompanied by artistic interventions in select magazines (EXBERLINER, Sleek, Päng!, Um[laut] and more) and an exhibition of his drawings in September 2012 during the first Berlin Art Week. Coinciding with the exhibition is the autumn release of an artist book on Robert Montgomery.
Robert Montgomery works in post-Situationist tradition, using the medium of language as the central form of expression. He approaches his work as a public inventory of the contemporary mindset; a glance into the way it feels to live at this very moment in time. In his own way of looking at things, Montgomery is often deeply suspicious of a seemingly blinded progress. Yet at the same time, he maintains a thorough belief in each and everyone`s potential to break free from these structures. Thus his poetic and often melancholic works are always an affirmation and encouragement. Never once resorting to irony and so leaving the viewer unclear where one stands, Montgomery`s works take a stance and confront a bleak and alienating zeitgeist with their own vision and version of things: ALL OUR SPLENDID MONUMENTS / LIPSTICK TRACES ON A CIGARETTE / THE LIGHT COMES UP ON ONLY LAND / FOREST HERE ONCE / FOREST HERE AGAIN, exclaims one of the exhibition`s central pieces in a refreshingly blunt manner.
It is the wounds of an über-capitalistic modern age that emerge within Montgomery`s works - not only as large and complex societal phenomena but also as deeply personal stories. His texts then seem to be the magical reflection of these stories: a visualization of things said and thought, a tracing of the memories of spaces and the people that inhabit them: THERE IS NO HISTORY HERE / WE SEE GHOSTS OF OURSELVES PASS BY ON THE SIDES OF BUSES/ AND WE REMEMBER NOTHING, reads one of his works that was published anonymously as an artistic intervention in the magazine Um[laut} in May 2012. Montgomery`s works are always part of an arcane dialogue that waits for us to carry on. Salient and ghostly messages: white letters on black ground, spread across the surfaces of old billboards and signs - media that normally only speaks to us, yet never with us.
The moment of publicness is central to his works, the direct and often surprising confrontation of audience and work is in the focus of Montgomery`s artistic project. In time for the opening, the magazine Päng! will publish its latest issue with another artistic intervention in which Montgomery pastes one of his texts across the page from a previous issue. As with the work that appeared in Um[laut] Magazin in May, this new work will also be published anonymously and without any further information, thus deliberately leaving the reader with a feeling of uncertainty.
The city of Berlin is one of the main reference points of this new exhibition. The works shown on the disused airport area are a direct commentary on the checkered history of the space: a site of an early concentration camp in the 30s, a military airport during World War II, the iconic Berlin Airlift during the 50s and finally the presentation of the area to the general public in 2008. Montgomery understands Berlin as a place of possibilities, a place whose struggle with its own past and future is in many ways symbolic. The wish to show the largest presentation of his works to date in Berlin is thus to be understood as a substantial decision. Many questions that seem to rise up naturally in Berlin - and especially Berlin - are only ever laced with the more general, seemingly simple question that is always at the heart of Montgomery`s project: How do we want to move on from here - to where?
The exhibition will be opened on 07 July 2012 at 7.30pm in the park of the former Tempelhof Airport. The artist will be performing one of his Fire Poems during the opening.
Presented by iGNANT and zitty Berlin.
With the kind support of Tempelhofer Freiheit, Grün Berlin, Tempelhof Projekt, Berlin Plakat, Mihai and TIB. In collaboration with EXBERLINER Magazine, Sleek Magazine, Päng! Magazine and Um[laut] Magazine.