Could Be Architecture, Chicago, IL

Artist Statement

Once upon a time, a homeless red hobgoblin wandered through Detroit, looking for companionship. This lonely creature was constantly afoot, fearing the vulnerability of sleep. The more he learned about Detroit, the more he yearned to warn and protect its people from wrongdoings.

Soon, citizens noticed his perpetual presence and dubbed him the Nain Rouge. Because he appeared immediately before mishaps, people mistook him as the harbinger of doom. People mocked and taunted him. Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac smacked him with his cane in disgust. A fearful mob eventually drove him out of town. On each vernal equinox, Detroit hosts a parade to reenact the exodus of the Nain Rouge, the city’s scapegoat.

While this unjust abuse disheartened the Nain Rouge, he couldn’t stay away from the city he loved. Though the rambunctious springtime ritual confines him to the shadows, autumn offers hope for reconciliation.

On the upcoming autumnal equinox, the red creature circles Capitol Park. Weary from travel, he pines for shelter and nosh. Towards the plaza’s center, he spots a sanguine sukkah, sweet with the aroma of ripe red fruit. While not a permanent home, he rejoices in the hut’s hospitality and temporary relief from exile. Popping his head under its outstretched walls, he discovers a crown of eighteen pomegranates adorning its roof. From the friendly glow radiating through the perforations of the caban, the Nain Rouge offers juicy seeds to passersby. Safe inside the sukkah, once skeptical Detroiters cast aside their long held scorn. The Nain Rouge blushes with delight.