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Pierre Huyghe: Streamside Follies

Pierre Huyghe: Streamside Follies

As for Utopia, Huyghe is taking a wait-and-see approach.

Border Crossings, February 2004

Not long ago, the essayist Ian Frazier wrote that when he pulled up stakes in Manhattan in the 1980s, lighting out for a new life of writerly seclusion in remotest Montana, he was expecting to move directly into a giant Ansel Adams wall calendar: a pristine and untrammeled Arcadia, outside time and eternally removed from the messiness of human folly. He was quickly dispossessed of the hope, a hope he must have known was shaky from the start, that it would ever be possible to return to some earlier, better time and place. The frontier closed a long time ago and the Arcadian golden age never happened, but Americans seem hard-wired to go out and look for them anyway, to clear their patch of woods and start homesteading. The thing is, with Manifest Destiny warping in on itself, homesteading today usually means simply moving from one housing development to another, slightly newer, one.