Wo ist die Kunstwerk auf Robert Montgomery bitte?!
This was the badly constructed German I used ambling around the massive remnants of Tempelhof Airport, attempting to find the work of Robert Montgomery. The woman looked at me bemused, before pointing to the massive building behind her and barking that nein, this was Tempelhof park, die kunstwerk was in one of the hangars. Ah, genau, danke, I mumbled, sloping off in search of the haunting typography I had lusted over on my computer screen.
An hour later and I was halfway round the mammoth airport complex, asking yet more bewildered staff to be greeted with thick German accents and differing answers on directions. Despite not yet finding the kunstwerk in question I enjoyed admiring the facade of the old airport building, and cursed my fat fingers for failing to load the film I had with me into my beloved Pentax, ruining the film and grabbing my digital camera instead in a huff.
Just when I was on the cusp of giving up (not before stumbling into a hangar showing some sort of screening of man landing on the moon – yes, I was completely baffled too) my limbs weary and morale low, I rounded a corner and was greeted with the familiar typeface of Mr. Montgomery. I stood there elated in the late afternoon sunshine, soaking up my surroundings.
The three billboards were beautiful. I loved the description of Europe as ‘a scarred lighthouse of peace’, the imposing disused airport in the background, once intended to be a symbol of Hitler’s ‘world capital’ a poignant reminder of previous turmoil. Making my way into Tempelhof Park, intending to make the long journey back to the S-Bahn I then came across these…
Nestled unassumingly against sports pitches were the two illuminated sculpture pieces I had been searching for, gently glowing in the evening sun. Joseph Beuys’ advice to bandage all knives to prevent any more hurt is a notion I keep thinking about, a beautiful piece of advice some of our younger generations could do with heeding. The pieces were melancholy yet beautiful, everything I had hoped.