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Ben Wagin is dead: the Berlin action artist was known as a »tree sponsor«


He became known for political art installations such as the »Parliament of Trees«: The Berlin action artist Ben Wagin died at the age of 91.

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Ben Wagin: "Limitless Perseverance"

Photo: Sabine Gudath / imago images

The action artist Ben Wagin is dead. He died on Wednesday at the age of 91, as his tree sponsorship association and a spokesman for State Minister of Culture Monika Grütters announced on Thursday.

Wagin became famous for his installation »Parliament of Trees«, which commemorates the victims of the Berlin Wall in the government district and is intended to call for peace.

“The death of my friend Ben Wagin makes me very sad,” the State Ministry for Culture and Media quoted Grütters on Twitter: Wagin's actions not only “call for sustainable and considerate treatment of nature, but also appeals for peace and reconciliation «Done.

Born in Poland in 1930, Ben Wagin lived in Berlin from 1957.

After studying at the art academy, he was initially represented with several exhibitions at Art Basel.

Wagin became known as a »tree sponsor«: since the mid-1960s, he had planted apple and ginkgo trees in various countries.

Wagin dealt with nature and the division of Germany for decades.

In 1990 the »Parliament of Trees« was created.

The names of victims of the GDR border regime are engraved on granite slabs.

Because of the erection of several new buildings on the government site, several trees of the »parliament« had to be removed and replanted.

The Berlin Wall Foundation announced that the future of the installation has now been institutionally secured.

It is only thanks to Wagin's "boundless persistence, his stubborn radicalism as well as his great emotionality" that the "Parliament of Trees" has been preserved against all political and market-economy desires.

ime / dpa

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2021-07-29

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