Photo: Gunnar Meier/ Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

The Promise, 2019

Bronze

51.5 x 32 x 30 cm

A bronze cast of a tree stump, which is the remains of a tree planted by Theodor Herzl in Arza, Palestine, in 1898. The spiritual father of the state of Israel and the main founder of political Zionism planted the tree as a sign for the Jewish settlers, but this did not last long: in 1915 the tree was burned down. Since then, the stump – protected by an iron cage – has attained the status of a monument, but hardly anyone knows of its existence. With The Promise, the artist not only raises questions about the effects of Herzl's nationalist gesture and the possible meaning of this monument, but also critically examines the appropriation of territory - in this case by using plants to manipulate the landscape - which only appears superficially natural.

Maren Brauner