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THIS DESIRE CARRIES ME AWAY: A PROJECT FOR ARTFORUM

AS CARLOS FUENTES TELLS the story, he was traveling in a remote part of Mexico when he came upon a village and asked an old man its name. “In troubled times, we call it Zapata,” the old man answered, “and in peace time, we call it Santa Maria.”1

I was reminded of this anecdote—cited by Fuentes in the thick of the American hostage crisis in Iran as a warning against the one-dimensional mentality of his neighbors to the north—because the medieval French church in Bar-le-Duc where Michèle Blondel has done her project for Artforum is alternately known as Saint Pierre or Saint Étienne (and also, on occasion, Saint-Maxe). Admittedly, the explanation is less colorful than that of Fuentes’ villager, involving as it does a thousand years of chapters, canons, and cults that have converged on this particular site. But the point is much the same: notwithstanding rationalism, modern science, and the

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