“The Danish artist Kai Gjellerup lived in Chicago for about ten years…Every December across the street from his loft, a vacant lot used exclusively by prostitutes and heroin addicts eleven months out of the year became a Christmas tree emporium…”
“After all his years in the United States, Kai was still unaccustomed to American Christmas. He was puzzled and disturbed by the connection between electronic gadgetry and messianism. He wondered why, in a country so solidly pragmatic, people unquestioningly accepted the cumbersome and expensive rituals designed to artificially stimulate the free market economy…”
“So one night, he walked over to the Christmas tree lot, poured a few gallons of gasoline over the driest looking trees and set the place on fire. It was a beautiful blaze, more beautiful, in his estimation than any conventional celebration could possibly be. He lingered across the street admiring his handiwork until he was arrested…”
Read the whole thing here. I originally saw this story posted at Curtis Locke’s flickr page as the caption for one of his photos. His work is worth a look, especially if you like photos of the slightly-run-down bits of Chicago’s cityscape.