Istanbul-based cultural platform and gallery ISTANBUL’74 presents the work of Robert Montgomery, a Scottish artist who uses poems and other texts to create light signs, billboards and ‘fire poems’ presented in public spaces. The exhibition, which is also the artist’s first solo show in Turkey, traces the different techniques and media Montgomery has used over the years to convey his texts – from watercolour paintings and large-scale light installations to wood engravings and photographs documenting his ‘fire poem’ performances.
Whilst these works of course play with the popularity of quotes and esoteric aphorisms in online communities, they also attempt to transport the fragile and private nature of poetry into the harsh light of the public realm. That said, Montgomery knows how to play with the contradictions of his chosen medium and use these contradictions in order to subtly generate awareness about the political and social structures we live in.
About the artist
Robert Montgomery was born in Scotland in 1972. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art and then in the core program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He has lived in London since 1999. Poetic texts are at the basis of his work and he makes billboard pieces, light pieces, ‘fire poems’, woodcut pieces and watercolours. He has realised major outdoor light installations on the site of the old US Air Force base at Tempelhof in Berlin, and in the old imperial port city of Kochi-Muziris in India (for the 2012 Kochi-Muziris Biennale).
Robert Montgomery “A Storyteller in Istanbul”
Production: ’74MOTION / Direction & Editing: Hikmet Guler.
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