“Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue”

Palma copy copy copy    Conceived  by Joanna Rajkowska,  Poland, Warsaw (Photo: Krystyna Kierebinski, August 2013)

Joanna Rajkowska´s solitary plastic Palm Tree standing in the center of Warsaw is the only element of the bigger and unfulfilled installation project „Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue”, which basic concept was to install the whole lane of palm trees. Its purpose was to remind Warsaw’s citizens about the Jewish community living here before the WW2. Location of the palm has its own meaning, one of the streets of the intersection is called Aleje Jerozolimskie (eng. Jeruzalem Avenue).

Now this intent is answered by only one date palm, the typical tree of Judea. Its reception was controversial; there were organizations and communities, which saw the palm as an evident Jewish symbol in the very heart of the city. They accused the project of evoking some extreme emotions and generating some dormant artificial scissions in the Polish society.The city´s authorities of that time supported the project but allowed it to last only for one year. However, the survey carried out by daily paper Gazeta Wyborcza proved that 75 per cent of Warsaw´s citizens preferred the palm to stay for good.

I set the tree and I treat it as an element of the communication between people, communication which is non-verbal and non-intellectual. Following the idea of the Journal of Dreams, I don´t want people to „understand” each other; it is impossible, I think. I want them to BE close to one another. Under the palm tree. Joanna Rajkowska

The photograph above is taken on the 1st of August just before 5 PM, the beginning hour of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Every year, at this particular moment all citizens of Warsaw gather to be together.

Title: Palm Tree
Artist: Joanna Rajkowska, b. 1968
Location: Warsaw, intersection between Nowy Świat and Al. Jerozolimskie, rondo Charlesa De Gaulle´a
Height: 15 m
Material: plastic an natural materials
Installation date: 12/12/201002

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