In which Robert Smithson visits Christchurch: Ficto-criticism and the field trip
What if Robert Smithson were to visit Christchurch? Nearly fifty years after his iconic field trip to his home of Passaic, New Jersey, in 1967, the environmental artist relocated to New Zealand, to the city of Christchurch, in 2016. Smithson died at the age of thirty-five in 1973, and imagining him not only still alive, but walking in the centre of contemporary Christchurch, generates a freshness, a frisson, that unsettles a habitual way of reading a city.
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