Northern Spark is an all night arts festival held every June In Minneapolis and Saint Paul inspired by the Nuit Blanche. Many of the cities’ arts organizations and museums are open all night and feature special programming. The first year we staged A Simple Chair (Returning Home), a performance that attempted to take the building of a chair to its theatrical and poetic extremes.
First we acquired wood from a hackberry tree that had been felled by the City Park Dept. We used the wood to build a very basic chair. We performed the building of the chair on the roof of the Soap Factory Gallery in Minneapolis. Spotlights were used to cast giant shadows of the operation on grain silos next to the gallery. When the chairs were finished, they were ceremonially lowered over the edge of the building with a crane to an awaiting group who placed them on sedanchairs. A band started playing to celebrate the chairs. They were then marched several miles across the edge of downtown Minneapolis and were left where the tree that produced the wood was grown.
We don’t know where they are now, as they started a new life.
There was an accompanying publication designed by Alex DeArmond that contained essays by Sam Gould, David Horvitz and RO/LU.