Robert Montgomery:
Echoes of Voices in the High Towers

Neue Berliner Räume

September 26, 2012

Robert Montgomery:
Echoes of Voices in the High Towers

until October 13, 2012

Finissage & Book Release: October 18, 8pm
at Stattbad Wedding

Exhibition sites
Tempelhofer Freiheit (former Tempelhof Airport)
20 billboard advertising spaces across the city
Um[laut] Magazine
Päng! Magazine
Exberliner Magazine
Sleek Magazine
and Stattbad Wedding

With Echoes of Voices in the High Towers, Neue Berliner Räume is pleased to present new works by British artist Robert Montgomery. At the centre of the four-month long exhibition project are two large light sculptures at the site of the former Tempelhof Airport as well as over 20 further works that are displayed on advertising billboard spaces across the city. In a unique collaboration with select magazines, four works by Montgomery have been published anonymously as full page artistic interventions. To conclude the exhibition project, Neue Berliner Räume presents a further selection of Montgomery’s work at Stattbad Wedding, a derelict swimming pool. The first comprehensive publication on Montgomery’s work will be published in October by mono.kultur.

Robert Montgomery works in a 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. This idea finds its strongest expression perhaps in the work that Montgomery has created for select magazines in which he pastes one of his texts across one of the magazine’s pages. These interventions are published anonymously and without any further information, thus deliberately creating a moment of disruption and leaving the reader with a feeling of uncertainty.

Robert Montgomery was born in Chapelhall, Scotland in 1972. He studied at the Edinburgh College of Art, where he obtained a First class Honours degree in painting and an MFA. From 1995 to 1997 he was artist-in-residence at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas as part of The Core Program. Montgomery’s work has been exhibited internationally and will be shown at the Kochi – Muziris Biennial in India in December 2012.

Neue Berliner Räume is a platform for exhibitions and cultural projects that is firmly located at the intersection of institution, gallery and off-space. Acknowledging the changed circumstances of contemporary cultural production, Neue Berliner Räume assumes a nomadic position and continuously explores new spaces to stage its projects.

Neue Berliner Räume
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Neue Berliner Räume at Stattbad Wedding
Gerichtstraße 65,
13347 Berlin
Hours: Wed–Sat, 2–8pm & by appointment

Neue Berliner Räume gratefully acknowledges the support of the exhibition’s various partners.