A Birth of a Nation (Inselstück)
performance and temporary installation (chainsaw, concrete, birch, peace pipe);
in collaboration with Kristian Gohlke;
»The day I killed a tree I became a dictator. That tiny birch fell so quietly... almost discreetly. Still, its silent decease triggered an outcry, soon to be vanished in the echo chamber of a busy island life. If this is reality, then why are we here? « logbook entry, 25th of June, 2013
What is the natural state of an artificial structure? Performative action unfolded departing from the proposition to re-artificiate an island made of concrete, a man-made structure supporting a highway pillar in the river Saar. The island was supposed to be freed from any elements considered as “natural”, such as weeds and trees. On a second level, the proposal was referencing the deforestation during the Roman period that occurred as a result of the expansion of the Roman Empire and that was one of the first large-scale irreversible man-made environmental changes.
In the course of the events we performed the creation of an island state that passed through all the stages in rapid succession within one day, including political acts, war, peace rituals, protest and subversive submission. The plot revolved around a birch tree and the question whether it could be sacrificed for the expansion of the island. The transcript of the events was transformed into a play which was performed at the HBK Saar in 2017.