“Unser Apfel”
4 Borsdorfer Apple Trees planted in Borsdorf, Panitzsch, Zweenfurth and Cunnersdorf

The public artwork, ‘Unser Apfel’, was made with the framework of theexhibition Borsdorf Beleben in the Swan Pond Park summer 2022. With the Kulturbahnhof e.V., Baumfreunde e.V., and Bauhof e.V. and other volunteers from the Borsdorf Municipality, I planted four apple trees to give to the community and engage collectivity between the citizens and these trees. Each village receives the task to take care of an apple tree of the neighboring village. The villages are to support each other in keeping their Borsdorf apple trees alive and healthy.

Why an apple tree?

The concept for this project goes back to the history of the original Borsdorf apple variety. This apple is said to be the oldest apple recorded in history, and it has long been disputed whether it originated in Borsdorf, Germany or Porsdorf, Germany. While visiting Borsdorf, the Heimat Verein Museum, and talking with locals, I learned that Borsdorf is proud of this history, they have the Borsdorfer Apple  tree in the municipal coat of arms, on their newspaper logo, and its seen around the town as a symbol for where the citizens come from. But there is not one single Borsdorf apple tree in the villages. 

My idea is to set up a public art project that not only plays with the legend of the Borsdorfer Apple origin history, but also the history of the village. Borsdorf Municipality is made up of four villages: Borsdorf, Panitzsch, Zweenfurth and Cunnersdorf. The plan was to plant one tree in every village and ask each village to self organize to take care of an apple tree in a neighboring village in order to force an exchange and interactivity between the 4 locations and the people living there. As a living body, a tree needs care in order to produce fruit and adjust to its new environment, as part of the project it is important that the communities feel engaged with the tree and also to one another- creating a public art sculpture that demands attention and care from those who the artwork is for. It gives the community something to work on together. So that these apple trees can thrive and grow their namesake apples.

Planting together

In October 2022, a total of 12 poeple came together to plant 2 trees near one of the elementary schools in Borsdorf. A second date was set to plant the two other trees in another location. Due to regulations from the Municipality the trees were only allowed to be planted in specific types of areas, which meant we could unforunately only plant the four trees in two locations instead of four. However, the Local Tree Friends Organization agreed to assign different people to water and care for the trees as I originally intended for the project. 

In 2023, engraved signs will be produced to be placed near each tree once they are grown into their new homes.

*Photographs from Kulturbahnhof e.V.