Artspace

Francis Alys

(to be continued) 1992-

15 October - 19 November 2005

Curated by Brian Butler


In Francis Alÿs' first one-person exhibition in New Zealand, (to be continued) 1992-, he constructs a journey through an overview of his work, mediums, and ideas. These five works are the forward, which commence a three-year relationship between the artist, Artspace and New Zealand.

Through the selection of works, Alÿs has set us on a footpath way through a city, through types of mediums and ideas. We first encounter As Long as I'm Walking, 1992, an effective series of statements in felt tipped pen on a sheet of polystyrene. They begin with "As Long as I'm Walking…I'm not choosing or I'm not losing". They are stated like aphorisms but with some sort of doubt, a hope of a general truth.

This work also functions as a general signpost, which we pass on our way to the brutal image in Lynchados, 2005, where the painting of two lynched figures sits atop a newspaper clipping which reports the facts. The painting is almost Goyaesque in its ruthless simplicity. We move onward to Ambulantes, 2000 - 2002, a selection of 80 slides of people pushing and pulling their wears around Mexico City. Slowly, we begin to create a fable around what we are viewing, stories of a street economy, of vendors' stalls, of movers. The incidental, the everyday, becomes visible. Alÿs then locates us in the drawing of a city map with references to streets and to the final work in the exhibition If you are a spectator what you're really doing is waiting for the accident to happen (Si eres espectador lo que en realidad estas haciendo, es esperar a que el accidente suceda), 1997, which follows a bottle's journey as it blows across the Zócalo, the central square in Mexico City.

The Mexico City-based Belgian born artist is internationally renowned and has had several major one-person exhibitions. Most recent are the projects Seven Walks at Artangel in London, 28 September - 20 November 2005, and Walking Distance from the Studio at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany late 2004 travelling to Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, France, Museo d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain and in 2006 to Museo de San Idelfonso, Mexico City, Mexico.

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