RoadReads: “The Republic of Marfa”

Elmgreen & Dragset’s Prada Marfa joins the surrealism of the desert. image via

“It’s situated in one of the least populated sections of the contiguous United States, known locally as el despoblado (the uninhabited place), a twelve-hour car-and-plane trip from the east coast, and seven from the west. It is nowhere near any interstates, major cities, or significant non-military airfields; it hosts an active population of dangerous animals and insects (a gas station clerk died of a spider bite the summer I first visited); and its 2,424 inhabitants represent the densest concentration of people in a county that covers over 6,000 square miles—an area larger than the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. The isolation is such that if you laid out the islands of the Hawaiian archipelago, and the deep ocean channels that separate them, on the road between Marfa and the East Texas of strip shopping and George Bush Jr., you’d still have 100 miles of blank highway stretching away in front of you.”

From reading Dostoevsky in the original, to Gehry’s bitching, to abandoned avocado sandwiches and those mysterious lights — Sean Wilsey and his comprehensive look at Marfa makes you want to take that trek too. (Read it in full here.)

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