Joanna Rajkowska

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"Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue." Artificial palm tree in Warsaw, conceived by Joanna Rajkowska.

Joanna Rajkowska (born 1968) is a Polish contemporary artist who came onto the Polish art scene in the 1990s. Her most famous work is called "Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue", a 15-meter-tall (50-foot) artificial palm tree installed on Warsaw's Jerusalem Avenue.

The installation was organized by the Warsaw Centre for Contemporary Art (13 December 2002 – 13 December 2003). Since then, the palm tree has become a permanent fixture of Warsaw, as it was not removed at the end of the official exhibition but instead came under the protection of the President of Warsaw.

It went neglected and leafless two years later, until the artist and friends mounted its restoration. It still stands in the center of the city. In the summer of 2007, the palm underwent a complete makeover, becoming more weatherproof and easier to maintain (unlike natural palms, its fronds require periodic manual replacement).


Born in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Joanna Rajkowska studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, Poland (1988–1993), and art history at Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland (1988–1993). She also completed the Studio Semester Program at the State University of New York, U.S. (1994–1995).[1]


Rajkowska describes the sense of her activity as building relationships with other people. She often only sets up the context of a meeting, allowing it to be an open experience. She usually engages a number of people as participants, and she also uses herself in her work. For example, in Satisfaction Guaranteed, her body was being symbolically consumed by other people [2].


Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue – the 15-meter (50-foot) tall artificial palm tree installed in the centre of Warsaw – an installation created by Rajkowska after her trip with Artur Żmijewski to Israel in the spring of 2001. It is an attempt to infuse with Israel's scenery Warsaw's Jerusalem Avenue – a street whose name and history, in return, sends the observer back to Israel. In another way, the palm tree refers to a popular idiomatic expression in the Polish language (Polish: palma odbija – literally: "the palm tree sprouts/bounces back") that indicates something unthinkable, outside common understanding, escaping the usual way of reasoning, simply – something idiotic. On the other hand, through the very presence of the palm tree in the middle of Warsaw's centre, it may signify that the commonly accepted way of reasoning does not fit the real world.[2]


Oxygenator in the Grzybowski Square in Warsaw, 2007


See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 March 2005. Retrieved 9 January 2006.