Abandoned Christmas Trees of Berlin

An exhibition and a public talk in 2010, in cooperation with Berliner Stadtreinigung and Hertie Foundation

Plattenvereinigung, Peter-Behrens-Halle, Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25, 13355 Berlin

Vernissage Programme: Joana Bërtholo (Reading: Between You and Me), Jochen Thermann (Reading), Raphaëlle Pacault (Violin), Natalie Tiranno (Saxophone), Ayako Toyama (Dance). Talk Event: on Transformed Spaces with Dimitri Hegemann (ehemaliges Kraftwerk Mitte), Jochen Küpper (Stattbad Wedding), Claus Asam (Plattenvereinigung)

Project Partners: Hertie Foundation. Other partners: Berliner StadtreinigungPlattenvereinigung, CinePlus, Haupt, Romanian School Berlin-Brandenburg e.V., Volkslesen.TV, the Romanian Cultural Institute, SpottedbyLocals and Apeiron Films.

Installation short description: How did it start? Three things happened beginning of 2007 after seeing for the first time the abandoned Christmas trees lying around the streets of Berlin. One is poetry. I was struck by the lyrical spectacle of the abandoned trees, a common landscape for a fragmented city like Berlin, from Reinickendorf until Köpenick, from Spandau to Marzahn. Second is invisibility of our every day environment. I was struck by how invisible and unimportant the trees have suddenly become for the Berliners shortly after Christmas. Third is curiosity. I became curious where were the trees headed, as nobody in my visual arts school back then could answer this question. After getting in touch with Berliner Stadtreinigung I found out that there are only two main groups of people calling and asking about the trees: people complaining a tree was not collected in time from their street and second, schools – children ask what happenes with the trees and teachers do not know what to answer. And this is how my four winters of filming through all the Berliner Bezirke begun. The displayed installation builds up on elements of poetry, storytelling and epic theatre and is taylor made on the architecture and symbolism of the Plattenvereinigung. Just as the latter, which is built out of concrete slabs stemming from former eastern and western Germany, the installation brings together videos from eastern and western Berlin and seizes the symbol of reunification. After all, the building of Plattenvereinigung will be installed in the public space in 2011, but it will spend this winter in the Peter-Behrens-Halle – a wonderful analogy with a Christmas tree. (Natalia Irina Roman)

Plattenvereinigung is a research and communication project designed to develop sustainable ways of acting and a sustainable culture. It unites people from science, education, economics, craft and art and works. As a medium and a meeting place, Plattenvereinigung creates a building made of recycled East- and West-German precast concrete. Thus it deliberately connects history with the current discussion about sustainable urban development, architecture and consumerism. The buildung is an object for studying and a work space for training, seminars, talks and workshops, research, theatre and art projects. Pieces of once visionary architecture from East and West and the current practice of urban reconstruction trigger multiple thoughts about future ways of living and the challenges of a post-fossil future. The project is supported by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) and by many dedicated and well-known partners and sponsors (www.plattenvereinigung.de). (Robert Huber)


Natalia Irina Roman (Concept & Video Installation), Diana MÍrza Grisco, Sonja Stössel, Mélanie Petton (Project Assistance), Oded Littman (Vernissage Director), Stefan Haupt (Technical Assistance), Ioana Niculescu (Logistic Assistance), Christian Gralingen (Graphic Design), Dave Lojek (Video and Photo Documentation).