When poetry becomes light, when billboards talk about politics – our first artist book with the amazing Robert Montgomery.
PLEASED TO MEET YOU
We are the publishing team behind the independent interview magazine mono.kultur, based in Berlin, Germany. Our concept is as simple as it is beautiful: one issue, one artist, one conversation – no more, no less. In the past seven years, we have worked with some amazing personalities, such as Tilda Swinton, Ryan McGinley, Ai Weiwei, The Wu-Tang Clan, Miranda July and many, many more. Please read our bio to find out more about us, because what we really want to talk about is Robert Montgomery.
CHANCE ENCOUNTERS IN THE STREETS
Robert Montgomery is a fine artist based in London, whose work we first discovered a few years ago. Robert writes poems – but instead of publishing them in books, he sends them out into the public space in the form of large light installations or billboards in between advertising.
Robert never signs his work – so when you come across one if his billboards in the streets, you don’t really know where the message came from, but you immediately know who it is addressed to: it is addressed to you – to all of us. His work is not only breathtakingly beautiful, but it also conveys the sense of a very sincere and personal investment – it raises fundamental questions about the world we live in, and how we live in it.
Robert has an amazing way with words. You can instantly relate to his general unease with our modern life – but his works are also open-ended enough for you to bring in your own emotions and experience. They never preach, but rather want to communicate with you – to make you stop in your tracks, and to look at things in a different light.
ECHOES OF VOICES IN THE HIGH TOWERS
Anyway, you get the idea: We fell in love with Robert’s work. So we wanted to know more about him and went looking for a book of his work, only to find out that there weren’t any – his work hasn’t really been published beyond magazines and blogs so far. And it was at this point that we decided that we should do something about that – and that with our background of running a magazine, we actually could do something about that. And so we wrote to him.
As it turned out, Robert is not only an incredibly nice and genuine person, but he also had a big exhibition planned for Berlin, his largest to date, titled Echoes of Voices in the High Towers. The first part of the exhibition, which consists of two light installations in Tempelhof park and about 20 billboards spread around Berlin, opened in July and is still on view. The second part will open in a former swimming pool in September. Altogether, the exhibition covers all aspects of Robert’s work: light installations, billboards, a fire poem where he literally set fire to one of his works, but also drawings and hijacked pages in various magazines. So it didn’t take us long to agree that we should do a publication on this project.
THE THINGS WE COULD DO
Now, the book will actually come as three books: there will be one booklet to show his previous work up until now. Then there will be one booklet documenting his current project in Berlin in more detail, because it makes for such a great cross-section of the way he works. And then there will be a booklet with two really beautiful interviews with Robert to give you a better understanding of his approach.
What’s special about the publication will be its size: Robert works mostly in large-scale formats – well, billboard size, really – so we thought we should do our best to also make the book as large as we possibly could: it will come in A2 size, folding out into A1, all neatly packaged in a screen-printed cardboard envelope. And yes, it’s going to be a beautiful thing...
One last thing that is important: since we have been producing our magazine mono.kultur for so long, we not only know how to make a really good and well designed book, but we also have the networks to distribute it. Because it is one thing to make a beautiful book – and it’s another thing to actually get it out into the world.
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
We are already well on our way of putting together all the material – preparing the images, editing the interviews – because we really want to release this at Robert's exhibition in the former swimming pool in Berlin. So the launch date is set for October 13, which is also the closing weekend of the exhibition. And if you are around, then of course you are invited to join us for the launch party.
But – as the project has grown in size, we realized that the costs for production will be a lot higher than we had hoped: we are looking at around $12,000 altogether, of which we can cover about $7,000. So that’s why we are asking for your help to cover the hole in our budget, so we can make sure that the book will the best it can possibly be. And of course, if we can even exceed our goal, then you will save us from some sleepless nights – so help us spread the word!
Needless to say, all funds go straight into the production of the book. And any profit that we might make eventually from sales, we will put aside for the time when we come across another project that we feel as strongly about as we do with this one – so we won’t have to ask you again the next time around.
Find out more about Robert's work: www.robertmontgomery.org
Find out more about Robert's current exhibition: www.neueberlinerraeume.de
All images by Robert Montgomery
Soundtrack Apnee by Kangding Ray
Installation Live Footage by Superiest
No, postage is already included in your reward, regardless of where you live.