Ulrike Mohr – Neue Nachbarn


A few blocks from Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum, the Palast der Republik, East Germany’s former Parliamentary and National Culture Building, has stood vacant since 1990, allowing a small and hidden biotope to sprout from the cracks in its roof. On April 4, 2006, while in the first stages of its demolition, work stops in order to allow for Ulrike Mohr to retrieve and rescue the community of five trees, including a black poplar, willow and birch. Mohr transplants the post-socialist trees at Skulpturenpark in exactly the same configuration, with the same distance from one another in which they had grown on the roof.
Mohr creates a map that marks and identifies both the new and existing species. Although strangers, the New Neighbors (Neue Nachbarn) quietly and symbiotically blend in with the wild trees, which similarly sprouted from cracks after the collapse of the Wall. The new trees are distinguished with small ‹Palast medallions› and signs that provide their botanical classifications. Due to the uncertainty of impending development at Skulpturenpark, Mohr ultimately relocates the trees to a local tree nursery at the end of 2008.