PRINT April 1997

Americana Websites

Back in the good old days, America produced cars that consisted of tons of Detroit steel and tail fins and backseats that you could rent out as condos. Back in the good old days, plastic was the novelty of the future—magical stuff that could be anything, in any color you wanted. Back in the good old days, our heroes drank like fish and smoked like chimneys and were totally unapologetic about it; they had names like Dean and Frank and Clint. We wore plaid Bermuda shorts when we went abroad waving our almighty greenbacks. No one told us we looked like idiots when we did these things: people feared us with our gas-guzzling autos and ugly clothes and boring, monochrome money. Because America ruled the world then, but that shouldn't stop any of us now from indulging in a little cheap-jack nostalgia for the good old days. Hence, this month's theme: Americana.

Mark Van de Walle writes regularly for Artforum.

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