On the fringe of Berlin’s Gallery Week-End, Robert Montgomery’s “The City is Wilder” was officially revealed to the public last 24 April. Railroad commuters, clubbers, and pedestrians can admire the 41-year-old Scottish born artist’s latest work no matter what they’re doing: traveling, clubbing or just passing by.
It is not random, since AJL Art Gallery in collaboration with Holzmarkt e. G and KaterHolzig invited Robert Montgomery to install his latest artwork at that precise place. Not just because Robert’s ultimate light composition starts to gracefully reflect upon the Spree River starting at sunset, but also because it is located on a fiercely disputed plot, opposite KaterHolzig, which formerly hosted the legendary Bar 25, and whose future is ardently disputed. Private investors are opposed to local collectives in a battle for one of Berlin’s last available embankments and, as you can guess, don’t really share the same point of view regarding its outcome. For that reason, Montgomery’s art may not be reduced to a mere urban décor. He is definitely a committed artist.
Robert Montgomery’s career so far has mostly consisted of adorning bus stops, walls, billboards or construction site fences with his words. Although working in street contexts, Montgomery does not consider himself a street artist but rather a “melancholic post-situationnist” one. Often regarded as a conceptual artist, he actually follows the footsteps of a British concrete poetry tradition, in fact at a crossroads between art and poetry.
Montgomery is not exhibiting in Berlin for his first time. Whereas “All Palaces” like Postfuhramt or Stattbad Wedding, the former pool repurposed as a cultural center, “are temporary places”, one of his urban installations can still be admired at Tempelhof Airport until June. Robert Montgomery’s artistic actions must be considered as a whole in order to be properly understood. In this respect, we highly recommend visiting his website. Robert Montgomery is not just aiming at creating superfluous excitement, he wants to warn us.
Between railroad and water works – a budding place, in other words – Montgomery’s ultimate installation is clearly an ode to rebellion, as his work’s title should make us think as much as the place in which it is located.