Brain Food #594

Our temporary palaces

Thoughts of the day

Artist Robert Montgomery, who chooses to fuel his art with words, is known for creating neon installations of his own poetry.

Standing in an empty swimming pool in Berlin, the installation reads ‘ALL PALACES ARE TEMPORARY PALACES’, and its placement could not be more perfect. The location, found at Gerichtstraße 65, had multiple, temporary fates. In its first incarnation, in the 1970s, it was a public swimming pool. It then went on to become a cultural space and nightclub, under the name of Stattbad Wedding, until it was demolished in 2016.

Impermanence, the notion that nothing lasts forever, can be an intimidating concept. Similarly, being successful once does not guarantee success for life. In a sense, we are all building temporary palaces. It may be frustrating, to think that there is no finish line. But, like our mountains that never run out, what we achieve today will be gone tomorrow, yet herein lies the paradoxical beauty of life: in putting it all together - our relationships, our work, an image of ourselves - and showing up every day, trying to hold it in place for as long as humanly possible.