Francis Alÿs: Sandlines Debut at Sundance, and Art Icon Award
Francis Alÿs will debut his new film Sandlines (2018) in the “New Frontiers" category at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah. Filmed during multiple trips over the past few years, the work is part of a larger body of work focused on Iraq, the beginnings of which were first exhibited at the Iraqi Pavilion during the 2017 Venice Biennale.
On January 21, Alÿswill receive the Art Icon Award at an evening event hosted by Whitechapel Gallery Director Iwona Blazwick, OBE, and Swarovski Executive Board member Nadja Swarovski. Launched in 2014, the award is supported by Swarovski, and celebrates the work of an artist who has made a profound contribution to a particular medium, influencing their own and subsequent generations of artists.
Born in 1959 in Antwerp, Alÿs directs his distinct poetic sensibility toward anthropological and geopolitical concerns; these in turn center around observations of, and engagements with, everyday life, which the artist has described as “a sort of discursive argument composed of episodes, metaphors, or parables.” His multifaceted projects including public actions, installations, video, paintings, and drawings have involved traveling the longest possible route between locations in Mexico and the United States; pushing a melting block of ice through city streets; commissioning sign painters to copy his paintings; filming his efforts to enter the center of a tornado; carrying a leaking can of paint along the contested Israel/Palestine border; and equipping hundreds of volunteers to move a colossal sand dune ten centimeters.
Cover Image: Francis Alÿs. Photo by Jiang Wenyi