Advertising Was The New Poetry

  • Blaise Cendrars claimed advertising to be the new poetry. Robert Montgomery makes us think the other way around. In his ‘Words in the City at Night’ series, the London-based artist hijacks large advertising billboards and bus stops to display his melancholic poems, echoing the Situationist concept of détournement. He explains:

    “What interests me in working anonymously is that people encounter it without knowing its art. They know it’s not advertising, and it’s not graffiti either and they do not need an art history knowledge to read it. I’m super-interested in the ordinary person at the bus stop getting on the bus to their job everyday and suddenly seeing this weird text.”

    He also uses the medium of neon signs to provoke thoughts. View more of his work here. Similar works might bloom in São Paulo. In 2006, the Mayor Gilberto Kassab passed the Clean City Law to remove every type of outdoor advertising from the world’s fourth-largest metropolis. The results are spectacular.

    Amsterdam may also follow the example. About the bill proposed by the Amsterdam city council that forbids outdoor banners on buildings, Jorn Wemmenhove writes “when executed properly, advertising can be as impactful as art. (…) Maybe a ban on outdoor advertising in Amsterdam wouldn’t be such a bad idea. It could force advertisers and agencies to advertise more creatively in the public space.” Or encourage artists to take over the public space.

    If you spotted creative use of advertising media in São Paulo, please share them with us!