Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception

May 8–August 1, 2011

Francis Alÿs (b. 1959, Antwerp, Belgium) uses poetic and allegorical methods to address political and social realities, such as national borders, localism and globalism, areas of conflict and community, and the benefits and detriments of progress. […]”

A pretty powerful show with some of his seminal video performances, including pushing the block of ice along the streets, and the depicted handgun piece. A new one I hadn’t seen involved Alÿs walking into the center of a tornado with his camera—I really enjoyed it. I feel that Mexico City plays a huge role in his videos, and even though the performances are intense as actions, they owe a huge debt to the ‘urban allure’ and grit of the site. Not a huge fan of the drawings and paintings—they are hit or miss, almost filler between videos—but I appreciate a peek into his process and thinking.

—VF