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#woodworker #treeoftheyear #gala

The German forest is not yet out of the woods. The trees still suffer from the acid rain of the 80s. We owe them a better environment: In Berlin Grunewald, Hendrik Quast and Maika Knoblich felled a sick German oak with the Berliner Forsten. Under the protective roof of the Sophiensaele, forestry workers and in-house technicians re-erect the tree on stage of the Festsaal within six hours. Its dead branches are celebrated as the first tree of the year 1989. The “gala for the Ur-Forst” is supported by the young singers of the Knabenchor Berlin and members of a professional carving club and their chainsaws. 

On the rotunda of the Mühlheimer Ringlokschuppen, the artists adapted the project in 2015 for the Impulse Festival. An outdoor version realised together with a local climbing school and the children's choir of the Duisburg Opera. It was also part of the “Long Night of Industrial Culture".

Trailer Outdoor-Version 

(german language, no subtitles) 

Tree felling in Mülheim city forest on 12 June 2015 

Concept, text, performance Hendrik Quast, Maika Knoblich

Vocals Knabenchor Berlin
Carving Josef Kucera
Sound Katharina Stephan
Light Florian Bach 


Outdoor Adaption 
Mülheimer Ur-Forst (Outdoor-Adaption, 20.06.2015) am Ringlokschuppen, Mülheim a. d. Ruhr – Festival Impulse 2015 & Lange Nacht der Industriekultur

Co-production SOPHIENSAELE, Quast & Knoblich

Funded by Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa

Photos © MH Junicke


Premiere 15.02.2014, Berlin Sophiensaele

Quast and Knoblich manage to make something like "sustainability" tangible in times of environmental encyclicals and climate summits.


Nachtkritik 21 June 2015, Friederike Felbek


The festival ends with an astonishingly simple contribution about how humans transform nature into art and representation. However, its intellectual complexity packs the punch (...) The most beautiful and simple approach to summarise the presumptuous and successful striving of humans to constantly act on behalf of others – with fatal consequences.


Theater heute, September 2015, Dorothea Marcus

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