A “Christmas tree”, put up at Christmas, may be a spruce, a fir, a pine. Historical Polish names include podłaźniczka, jutka, sad rajski (paradise orchard), boże drzewko (God’s tree), wiecha. Every year during the three December weeks there are 6 million Christmas trees sold in Poland, and 50 million – all over Europe. The fashion for “living” Christmas trees is systematically growing, while in January and February the majority of trees ends up, en masse, in the dumpster bins of Polish cities and villages.
At the end of December 2017 I started to live with a dog. For the first time in my life I walked her, getting used to a way of spending time which was previously completely alien to me. We kept stubbornly walking around my part of the city; several times a day we passed by firs, pines, European and blue spruces lying next to the dumpster bins. For the first two months of the years I did not travel anywhere, it was warm for January and muddy, the days were very short and there was very little sun. I started bringing Christmas trees into my apartment-workroom in a block of flats. Szelest the dog had separation anxiety, we spent entire days at home, in the evenings I started dragging Christmas trees to my 3rd floor. Over three weeks, we brought in 45 trees. I peeled them out of their branches with a fretsaw, leaving sad thin trunks; the neighbours wondered why there were spruce needles in the stairway every morning. The trees soon stopped fitting in my workroom, and so I squeezed them into the hall, the kitchen, my bedroom. There were several smaller ones in the sofa, one upon the other, the firs were heavy, enormous, I had to push them through the apartment doors, forcing them through with my entire body, resin and needles were everywhere, two months living with the smell of the forest. Then I peeled the skin out of eighteen of them with silicon; the rest is still waiting for something in the basement.