Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception

It is a little bit late to post this field report of Alÿs’s various works at MoMA…but some of his works are interesting to me so I am just writing down my thoughts.

My first impression is the diversity of his works such as small drawings, video installation, large-scale participation project, etc. Although this diversity makes me a little bit confused, eventually it shows how much he is active and open to possibilities as artist and environments. My favorite work is Rehearsal 1 that red beetle car goes up and down a steep hill based on jazz music (rehearsal recording) played in the car. When music stops, he also stops car in the middle of hill. With emphasis on progress in art, Alÿs creates certain qualities by simple repetitive activities – going up and down. The running time is about 25 min (I think…) and this one long take provides many chances to observe specific areas where broken cars are on the middle of red clay hill and sometimes white car slowly pass by. What interest to me is the fact that my interests are shifted while viewing this work from movements of red car to electric cables that creates several section in the air. If this work is shorter, then I cannot have that experience. Also, I did not read a description of work before viewing, but without specific information about music and concept, I experienced various elements in this work.

Few other works such as Paradox of Praxis (above image) somewhat resonates with Deleuze’s thoughts on the process of making art. But Tornado that provides very tactile experience seems to be very separate from other selections in terms of concept.

-Inhan

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