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7000 Oaks – City Forestation instead of City Administration

by Joseph Beuys
documenta 7 - 8, 1982 - 1987

Artwork audio
documenta 7
7000 Oaks – City Forestation instead of City Administration


It took five years to clear the wedge-shaped pile of rocks on Friedrichsplatz and realize this social sculpture. The artist made his gift to the documenta city dependent on the condition that 7000 trees, each accompanied by a basalt stele, would be planted at 7000 locations all over the city. Like no other work of art in the world, this mature, constantly growing aesthetic organism intervenes radically, sustainably and in an immediately comprehensible way in the visual, ecological and social structure of the urban environment. The forestation of the city was realized through the constructive interplay involving the artist’s commitment, local government policy and civic engagement. The first and last trees were planted in front of the Museum Fridericianum. This sensitive work of art, which requires constant care and upkeep, is maintained by the City of Kassel with the support of the “7000 Oaks” Foundation. It was declared a protected historical monument in 2004.

Property of: Stadt Kassel


Joseph Beuys (* 1921 in Krefeld, † 1986 in Düsseldorf) developed the “expanded concept of art” and the theory of the “social sculpture.” He is internationally recognized as the most important and influential German artist in recent years. Beuys took part in documenta 3 through 9.

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