Installation view of the exhibition Francis Alÿs: SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POETIC CAN BECOME POLITICAL AND SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POLITICAL CAN BECOME POETIC, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2007.

Francis Alÿs

SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POETIC CAN BECOME POLITICAL AND SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POLITICAL CAN BECOME POETIC

Opening on February 15, 2007, David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition by Belgian artist Francis Alÿs, who lives and works in Mexico City. Recently, Alÿs was the subject of solo exhibitions at Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany, MALBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2006); Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany [traveled to Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, France and Museo d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, and Museo de San Idelfonso, Mexico City, Mexico] (all 2005-2006); Musée d'Art Contemporain, Avignon, France (2004); Centro nazionale per le arti contemporanee, Rome, Italy [traveled to Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain] (all 2003); and Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2002). Among the artist's numerous group exhibitions are 14th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (2004); 2004 Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; São Paulo Biennale, São Paolo, Brazil (2004); and Shanghai Biennale 2002, Shanghai, China. This will be Alÿs's first solo exhibition at David Zwirner–his first New York gallery show since 1997.

A compulsive wanderer, Francis Alÿs is known for his in-depth projects in a wide range of media including documentary film, painting, photography, performance and video. Many of his works involve intense observation and recording of the social, cultural and economic conditions of particular places, usually conceived during walks through urban areas. For example, The Modern Procession (2002), chronicles the movement of artworks from MoMA to Queens before the remodeling and expansion of their Manhattan galleries. In Cuentos Patrióticos (1997), a flock of sheep circle the main flag pole on the Plaza del Zócalo in Mexico City as a political metaphor. Filmed in the same plaza, Zócalo (1999) records the same flag pole as it becomes an accidental sun clock over the course of a day. Some projects focus more intently on the people who live in Alÿs's subject cities. Beggars (2002-2004), comprises an 80-slide carousel with images of street people asking for money at the entrance to the subway in Mexico City, and When Faith Moves Mountains (2002) documents a large group of people outside the Peruvian capital as they slowly and deliberately "move" a large sand dune a short distance using shovels. In these and his many other projects, which are typically displayed along with working notes, drawings, paintings, photographs and ephemeral material employed in their processes, Alÿs creates powerfully original metaphors for human will.

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Detail of a mixed media installation by Francis Alys, titled SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POETIC CAN BECOME POLITICAL AND SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POLITICAL CAN BECOME POETIC, dated 2005.

Francis Alÿs

Detail of SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POETIC CAN BECOME POLITICAL AND SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POLITICAL CAN BECOME POETIC, 2005
video projection, hard drive, touch screen, DVD, 5 mdf tables, framed map, works on paper, photo collages, 1 painting, 1 wood gun sculpture variable
Dimensions variable with installation
Detail of a mixed media installation by Francis Alys, titled SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POETIC CAN BECOME POLITICAL AND SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POLITICAL CAN BECOME POETIC, dated 2005.

Francis Alÿs

Detail of SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POETIC CAN BECOME POLITICAL AND SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POLITICAL CAN BECOME POETIC, 2005
video projection, hard drive, touch screen, DVD, 5 mdf tables, framed map, works on paper, photo collages, 1 painting, 1 wood gun sculpture
Dimensions variable with installation
A sculpture by Francis Alys, titled Untitled (gun number 53), dated 2005 to 2006.

Francis Alÿs (In collaboration with Angel Toxqui)

Untitled (gun number 53), 2005-6
Wood, metal, plastic, film reels, film
25 x 14 7/8 x 17 1/4 inches (63.5 x 37.8 x 43.8 cm)
A sculpture by Francis Alys, titled Untitled (gun number 30), dated 2005 to 2006.

Francis Alÿs (In collaboration with Angel Toxqui)

Untitled (gun number 30), 2005-6
Wood, metal, plastic, film reels, film
29 x 12 x 17 3/4 inches (73.7 x 30.5 x 45.1 cm)
Installation view of the exhibition Francis Alÿs: SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POETIC CAN BECOME POLITICAL AND SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POLITICAL CAN BECOME POETIC, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2007.
Installation view of the exhibition Francis Alÿs: SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POETIC CAN BECOME POLITICAL AND SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POLITICAL CAN BECOME POETIC, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2007.
Installation view of the exhibition Francis Alÿs: SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POETIC CAN BECOME POLITICAL AND SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POLITICAL CAN BECOME POETIC, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2007.
Installation view of the exhibition Francis Alÿs: SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POETIC CAN BECOME POLITICAL AND SOMETIMES DOING SOMETHING POLITICAL CAN BECOME POETIC, at David Zwirner in New York, dated 2007.
A sculpture by Francis Alys, titled Untitled (gun number 37), dated 2005 to 2006.

Francis Alÿs (In collaboration with Angel Toxqui)

Untitled (gun number 37), 2005-6
Wood, metal, plastic, film reels, film
21 1/2 x 13 3/4 x 17 1/4 inches (54.6 x 34.9 x 43.8 cm)
A sculpture by Francis Alys, titled Untitled (gun number 53), dated 2005 to 2006.

Francis Alÿs (In collaboration with Angel Toxqui)

Untitled (gun number 53), 2005-6
Wood, metal, plastic, film reels, film
25 x 14 7/8 x 17 1/4 inches (63.5 x 37.8 x 43.8 cm)

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