BERLIN.- Neue Berliner Ršume
announced a further and final extension of Robert Montgomery's installations on Tempelhofer Freiheit. The last day of exhibition will be September 8, 2013.
The two site-specific light pieces were installed in July 2012 as part of the large-scale exhibition project Echoes of Voices in the High Towers. Attached to the back of two score boards that were built by the U.S. Army during their use of the area as a military base, the poems address the complex history of the site:
First used as a military parade ground by the German Army in the beginning of the 20th century, the vast area of land at the periphery of the city was to undergo massive changes in the coming decades. In the shadows of the slowly growing airport, a military prison was put under the control of the SS in 1934 and turned into a now mostly forgotten concentration camp. Already two years after its closing in 1936, the buildings of the Columbia Haus were destroyed and its memory mostly erased.
The airport building, built from 1924 to 1939, serves as a complex memorial to the German history of that time. While the airport once stood as the largest building in the world, it remains in fact unfinished as the building activities were halted during the war and never resumed. After the war, damages from air raids were only partly repaired and some parts of the building were never opened again. With staircases leading nowhere and destroyed rooms merely closed off, the monumental and often intimidating architecturea symbol to Nazi Germany's claim to world domination in its capitalhides inside an architectural landscape that references almost everywhere the tragic history of the 1930s and 1940, marked by loss and destruction.
After the war, the area was used by the U.S. Army and became the site of the iconic Berlin Airlift. Gradually re-opened for civil aviation, the airport was finally closed in 2008 and handed over to the Berlin public.
All Our Splendid Monuments and Echoes of Voices in the High Towers remain on view until September 8, 2013.
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. Recent exhibitions include The De La Warr Pavillon, Bexhill; Aanant&Zoo, Berlin; C/O Berlin, Berlin; Kochi - Muziris Biennial, India and the Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh.