Purple Television

[August 9 2013] : art

Robert Montgomery’s Edinburgh Fire Poem by Today Is Boring

An exclusive premier of a film capturing the latest art piece from Scottish artist Robert Montgomery at Edinburgh Art Festival. Montgomery explains the piece and its meaning “I went to Edinburgh to do a commission for the Edinburgh Art Festival. It’s where I went to college to so it was different from projects I’ve done in Berlin, or India or New York this year, because it was like going home. I think under Sorcha Carey’s direction it has become one of the most important art festivals in Europe and I was honoured to show in the same festival as Gabriel Orozco and Franz West. Edinburgh always felt to me a city haunted by both is ancient pagan history and its history of John Knox influenced puritanism equally. You even feel this in the architecture, it feels exactly 50% the ancient capital of a sacred lost Celtic people, exactly 50% garrison town, as though the castle was built to lock the wild locals down. I wanted to work with fire to connect with that older Celtic tradition, and I wanted to make a poem about choosing freedom instead of power. Castles are probably overrated as a psychological position I think, and if you look at the dramas of history it’s always the maintenance of the castle that kills the king. We burned the poem on The Mound, behind the National Gallery and just below the Edinburgh Castle, and it says RATHER THE RAIN ON THE WINDOW OF THE CASTLE THAN THE CASTLE ITSELF, RATHER THE FLIGHT OF THE BIRD, RATHER BURNED THAN CAPTURED.”

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