artist / participant
The exhibition Francis Alÿs. A Story of Negotiation opened at MALBA last week and will be on view until February 15, 2016. Organized in conjunction with the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo from Mexico and curated by Mexican curator and historian Cuauhtémoc Medina, the show presents a group of recent projects by Belgian-Mexican artist Francis Alÿs (b. 1959, Antwerp). The largest solo show of Alÿs's work ever held in Argentina, the exhibition features three of the artist's most important film works from the last decade. By addressing topics like migration, global politics, and social processes, these works further the artist's critical reflection on contemporary society. Specifically, the film works on exhibit are Tornado (2000–10), a persecution of dust devils to the south of Mexico City; Don't Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River (2008), an intervention across the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Africa and Europe; and REEL-UNREEL (2011, from the "Afghanistan" series, 2011–14), which makes reference to the real-unreal image of Afghanistan in the Western media. Each of these pieces is exhibited with other works by Alÿs in order to place them in context and flesh out their meaning.
Each of the clusters of works in A Story of Negotiation contains paintings, drawings, sculptures, videos, and actions. In the words of curator Cuauhtémoc Medina:"This is a unique opportunity, the first time these three projects—Alÿs's most important works of the last decade—have been exhibited together. The exhibition also very directly addresses the choreography through which they explore a wide range of conflicts around representation as they formulate ideas parallel to the artist's actions or give shape to diagrams and thought on social, historical, and personal structures. The paintings shed light on the relationships between the works as a whole."
A collaborative effort with the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo of Mexico City, the show will continue its tour at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes from La Habana, Cuba, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Toronto and LACMA, Los Angeles.