Beuys’ Acorns July 17 @ 8:00 am – September 7 @ 7:00 pm – Bloomberg Arcade
3 Queen Victoria St, London EC4N 4TQ
Inspired by Joseph Beuys’ call to plant a seven thousand oak trees in 1982, Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey created an installation project which took 52 acorns yielded from the original Beusyian oaks and replanted them. The new young trees were grouped together as an ‘installation and exhibited within the Bloomberg Arcade, a new public public space in the City of London.
The trees were formed into three separate blocks of equal number each constrained by a scaffolded wooden structure and connected to each other through an ‘umbilical’ pipe connected to ‘tankers’ which ‘force fed’ each copse with air and water that maintained them in this overtly unnatural corporate environment.
Would Beuys have approved of this work….?
Superficially, the installation of trees in the City of London is a welcome site but the work strays away from Beuys’s acute sense of environmental and ecological issues and his commitment to ‘green the planet’. It also lacks the challenging creative practice of Beuys which references diverse cultural beliefs… and although Beuys is famous for saying ‘everyone is an artist…’ it doesn’t necessarily follow that what ever an artists’ output is it is ‘art’… In this case, although rooted in beuys, this work is more of a nod to a certain style and notions of ’lineage’ – which should appeal to the city.