The Monument May Be A Forest

Monument project by Gabu Heindl and Eduard Freudmann (2015)

The Monument May Be A Forest was the winner of the international competition From Those You Saved, to erect a monument dedicated to Poles who saved Jews during the Shoah. The monument was not built because the donor of the monument initiative did not like the jury’s decision.

The monument initiative has received harsh criticism from its very beginning, mainly due to its envisioned building location next to the POLIN Museum, in the center of the former Warsaw Ghetto. The controversies manifested in numerous articles and debates, some of them can be found in the Reviews section.

The Monument May Be A Forest regarded these controversies not as a bitter pill to be swallowed but a unique asset that should be incorporated into the monument.

The Monument Is A Dilemma
The Monument Is A Forest Nursery
The Monument Is A Process
The Monument May Be A Forest
The Monument May Be A Failure

Text on the project:
The Monument Is a Dilemma
Contemporary Commemoration and the Failing of Philanthropy in Public Space
By Gabu Heindl and Eduard Freudmann.

jury statement

The project represents a novel concept of commemoration via processual aspect rather than monumentality of imposing physical presence. It bases on notions of care, commitment, fragility and risk, as much as the very acts of sheltering the Jews by the Righteous. Another important and inherent aspect of the project relates to its participatory and the potential to disseminate the commemoration through time and space. The trees planted in the nursery will perform a function of a message by being distributed and replanted in different locations historically bound to Jewish life in Poland.

artist statement

First and foremost, erecting the monument is urgent. Time is passing and 70 years after the end of Nazism both those who saved and those who were saved are dwindling in numbers. Therefore we should open the monument as soon as is feasible. But there is a dilemma: This is not an easy task that can be rushed to completion. Erecting a monument “From Those You Saved” requires time - both for the creation of a *We, that is, those who desire to establish the monument, and for joint decision-making regarding important issues such as to whom the monument is addressed or selecting the best location for the monument.

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reviews

The monument deserves better

(Konstanty Gebert: Political Critique, 27.2.2016) I have read, with growing astonishment and disappointment, the article by Gabu Heindl and Eduard Freudmann, on the vicissitudes of their participation in the competition ‘From Those You Saved’ which took place in Warsaw last year.
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Warsaw Ghetto Memorial to Righteous Gentiles Hits New Snag

(Donald Snyder: The Forward, 26.2.2016) In a February 22 email to the New York philanthropist funding the project, sculptor Dani Karavan said he would not accept a commission to create the memorial unless two sculptors who won an earlier public competition for the commission withdrew willingly and “do not have further complaints or reservations.”
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Jury für Gabu Heindl und Eduard Freudmann

(NZZ, 24.7.2015) Die österreichische Architektin Gabu Heindl und der Wiener Künstler Eduard Freudmann haben den internationalen Architekturwettbewerb für die Gestaltung des Denkmals zur Erinnerung an die Retter polnischer Juden gewonnen.
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credits

Architectural staff / GABU Heindl Architektur: Daniela Mehlich, Jan Růžička
Landscape architect: Marlies Rief
Architectural model: Nenad Ikudinović
Research: Tamara Kramer
Language editing: Julie Dawson
Translation: Rafał Morusiewicz