Greetings from Jerusalem, 2002-ongoing
An imitation of a 15 metre-high palm tree was installed in the middle of a busy roundabout at the junction of Aleje Jerozolimskie (Jerusalem Avenue) and Nowy Świat in Warsaw in 2002.
The project originated from the artist’s visit to Israel, during the outburst of the second Intifada. It made her realise the void left by the absence of the Jewish community in Poland and the significance of the history and etymology of Aleje Jerozolimskie to Warsaw’s identity. By adding an almost surreally alien element to Warsaw -a palm tree common in the Middle East- in the spot that previously served as a location for a Christmas tree, the artist highlighted and challenged the invisibility of the street’s name. As the Polish expression ‘hit by a palm tree’ refers to something unthinkable, to behaviour that verges on being silly, even idiotic, the project thus embodies substantial humour and irony, which saves it from linear reading and suggests something that escapes palpable understanding.
Since its inception, the ‘Warsaw Palm Tree’ has become a place of protests, manifestations and gatherings for minority groups, and those who feel unheard and sidelined.
Information on the related project Death of the Palm Tree is found here