Following the social isolation due to Covid-19, the artist Stephan Goldrajch conceived the participatory project, entitled Arbre à palabres , a giant tree, six metres high, comprised of numerous pieces of knitting, crochet or weaving of any colour, pattern and yarn made by people of different ages and social backgrounds, particularly from neighbourhoods around the museum. Arbre à palabres, the palaver tree, is usually found in the centre of African villages and is a place where people meet and exchange ideas, elders share stories with children, and where important decisions concerning the village are discussed. In Greece we could compare the Palaver tree with the Platane tree found in Greek villages where people of all ages gather and partake in the daily social life. The knitted items that were selected – following the artist’s open call – have been placed on the tree, displayed in the EMST Foyer, from the 15th of December 2021 to the 22nd May 2022.
This collaborative, polyphonic work of art, encompasses all the stories involved in it’s making, marking a new era for the museum, one which is more open, inclusive and welcoming. It is the first presentation of the artist’s work in Greece.
Artist’s short bio
Stephan Goldrajch was born in 1985 in Ramat-Gan, Israel. He lives and works in Brussel, Belgiums. The artist’s practice creates links between people and social interaction between them. His work combines textiles, texts, drawings, installations and recycled materials Goldrajch often starts “from deficiencies to rewrite a story, recast it and create an elsewhere”. It is not uncommon for him to work with people outside the art world to conjoin their existence and his practice, thus generating a new creative dimension. His projects are part of his personal approach to ancestral techniques and traditions as well as his interest in human relationships, from which he draws inspiration to give a new dimension to heritage.