Polling: Oak planting for Joseph Beuys – Munich

It’s good that an oak tree is finally being planted in Polling. Not just any old one, but this Saturday at eleven o’clock an original Beuys oak tree and its basalt stele will be buried on the church square near the Bachbrücke.

Just a reminder: the original project was called 7000 oaks, and it was Beuys’ contribution to Documenta 7. The man in the hat planted the first oak in Kassel in 1982, and the campaign ended with the planting of the last at Documenta 8 (1987). Actually anyway. But since Beuys once said “Because we never want to stop the planting campaign”, Heiner Friedrich, legendary gallery owner, founder of the Traunreuter Museum DasMaximum and in 1974 also co-founder of the Dia Art Foundation, which financed the 7000 steles, decided to continue the project. First in New York, then in Traunreut and now also in the rest of Bavaria. The plantings are curated by his DasMaximum foundation, which, in close cooperation with the artist’s widow, Eva Beuys, authorizes and certifies the locations as belonging to the original work.

Simply planting any oak tree and putting a basalt next to it is not valid, it does not get an entry in the worldwide map of actions. Bernd Zimmer from Polling also knows this. He wanted to plant a Beuysche oak in front of his columned hall, Stoa169, but was not given permission to do so. Nevertheless, the painter used an oak tree with a stele and dedicated the ensemble to Beuys. He is convinced that he would have liked the idea.

Heike Friedrich, Heiner’s twin sister, who lives in Polling with her partner, took over the sponsorship for the original oak tree Rainbow barn with works by the composer La Monte Young and the light artist Marian Zazeela turned into a dream house. That the walk-in light-sound sculpture will reopen this Saturday after a two-year Corona break, just like the neighboring one Fischerbau with Dan Flavin’s light sculpture “untitled 1970”is really beautiful.

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