October 25, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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The tallest, lone palm tree in Warsaw comes of age

The tallest, lone palm tree in Warsaw comes of age

(Warsaw) We are far from the tropics of Warsaw, however, the large palm tree that happily dominates the heart of the Polish capital has risen to the level of its symbols, a much-loved artistic installation by its inhabitants.


Anna Maria Jacobeck
France Media Agency

“It’s like an alien creature from an unknown world. Like objects falling from the sky, ”said Sebastian Sicho, curator of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, the custodian of the artificial plant.

Built 18 years ago in the Central Roundabout, the large palm tree covers its steel trunk with real date bark and burns into the sky, crowned with metal and plastic palms that replace its original natural leaves.

The palm tree is a work “It produces social energy … an object through which you can project your own fantasies, your desires, your concerns,” Mr Sichoki told AFP.

Supporter for a number of reasons, the tree already wore a large nurse’s helmet in solidarity with the protesting nurses, became a Lesbos island for LGBT activists in bikinis and even had its leaves torn by anarchists.

Nickname for the police officers at this central roundabout. ” Miami Vice – Reference to the famous American series that takes place under the sun, which is much warmer than Warsaw.

History of lack

The project originated from a visit to Israel, where Polish artist Joanna Rajkovska experienced the “tension and fear” of the Second Intifada, the Palestinian uprising.

“When I got back home, I thought the Jews should stay here, live in prosperity and happiness, and this land should really be their abode,” she told AFP.

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Prior to World War II, Poland had the largest Jewish community in Europe, with 90% of its members dying in the Holocaust and most of the survivors moving elsewhere.

“The palm tree is the fruit of this emptiness. It’s really sad that we lost something, ”he saidTo me Rajkovska.

By planting a false tree in the middle of the main arteries of the Polish capital – Avenue de Jerusalem – she wanted to draw special attention to the 18 local Jewish community.E This street is the century to be named.

“Moved”

The palm tree project, called “Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue,” serves as a social experiment to see how Poles responds to such a foreign element.

According to a well-known Polish expression, many locals, faced with an exotic design set up in the traditional place of the Christmas tree, thought that someone had lost their mind – or “struck with a palm tree”.

“There was real disgust, they were shocked. Especially the taxi drivers. They hated the palm tree,” the artist said.

The tree has always had enemies, a passerby would call it “useless waste”, but most of the urban people love it.

“I was shocked at first, but now I can not imagine this roundabout without wings. It’s heartfelt, relaxing,” retired Malgorzata Blazzyk told AFP.

“It reminds me of the holidays. In the end, it’s better to jump somewhere in search of such landscapes, ”she adds.

Dead leaves

Publicity agent Bartos Makichovsky recalls the heat wave when palm fronds were replaced with real withered leaves to draw attention to climate change.

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“By changing its appearance, the palm tree shows us if things are going in the right direction. Like a social barometer,” the 44-year-old told AFP.

One of the dead leaves is now on display in a window facing the palm tree, along with a large bird’s nest and an eco-friendly letter signed by the tree found one day in its crown.

“Have you ever wondered how your descendants are going to work in a few hundred years? What air, what water, what temperature will they have?”, We read.

“Raise your sleeves and get to work – otherwise you will lose the chance to live,” the tree says from above its maturity.