You’re out in the streets, in a hurry to get to wherever it is you need to be. As you walk you glance at the dozens of signs, posters, and advertisements without paying them too much attention. All of a sudden you see a sign that makes you stop:
This is the work of Robert Montgomery. He is an artist born in Scotland in 1972, who takes over advertising space and provides the public with interesting, shocking, and sometimes melancholic phrases. Regardless of what you think of his artwork, it’s pretty awesome to see public spaces filled with interesting things instead of the usual Coca-Cola posters, the models, and the golden arches of McDonald’s. Corporate culture infiltrates our minds everywhere with its images, making us feel inadequate, telling women they are not pretty enough and making it seem like all the fun is happening somewhere else. They generate a void, an emptiness, then tell us that to fill it we need to consume their products. They want us all to believe that HAPPINESS=CONSUMPTION. I would much rather see emotionally charged artwork that sparks interest and makes us stop and think instead of all the other bullshit.
The digital publication Dazed and Digital interviewed Robert Montgomery and asked him: What do you hope to engender in the member of the public who happens upon your statements?
Rob Montgomery: Just recognition hopefully – I’m trying to write about our collective unconscious in public space. Let’s say I’m trying to write about what it feels like on the inside to live in “Late-Capitalism” as Theodore Adorno and Frederic Jameson would call it. What it feels like to live in our cities, what it feels like to live with our privilege of wealth and our poverty of time, our privilege of material goods and our poverty of reflection, our anxiety as the systems of economy and ecology we rely on falter, revealing economic injustice and a future that’s more fragile than we thought.
Here are some examples of his work: