PRINT February 2004


On the wall of Emily Jacir’s studio in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn is a photograph roughly torn from a newspaper. Dominating the frame is a billboard featuring two men on horses, the text saying, simply, “Marlboro.” Below the billboard are stationed two tanks and helmeted soldiers at turrets. The photograph is of the West Bank. The streets are Palestinian. The tanks are Israeli. The billboard is ostensibly American, but it really belongs to that supranational agora of branding: Hovering over the grim reality on the ground, it is seemingly above borders, above politics, existing in some sphere that is cross-stitched with dissipating jet contrails and the green blur of currency flows. This is how the world is often portrayed now—anywhere can be Marlboro Country. Nationalities are mere formalities. We are all of us frequent fliers, racking up psychic jet lag (William Gibson suggests

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