Urban strolls play a central role in Francis Alÿs’s practice, as seen in the video The Collector, 1991–92, in which the artist pulls a magnetic toy through the streets of Mexico City until it is covered in metal debris. In Paradox of Praxis 1 (Sometimes Doing Something Leads to Nothing), 1997, he pushes a block of ice through the city. Other actions have included commissioning sign painters to copy his paintings; carrying a leaking can of paint along the contested Israel/Palestine border; and hiring five hundred volunteers to move a 500-metre long sand dune a few centimeters.
He was the subject of a major survey, Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception, on view from 2010 to 2011 at Tate Modern, London, UK; Wiels Centre for Contemporary Art, Brussels, Belgium; and the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, New York. He has also had solo exhibitions at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2010); Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, USA (2008); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles(2007); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, USA (2006) and Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany (2006), among other venues.
This person was part of Sharjah Biennial 11
If a line of kids leaves Europe and heads towards Morocco, and a line of kids leaves Africa and heads towards Spain, will the two lines meet in the chimera of the horizon?
This catalogue accompanied Sharjah Biennial 11.