a new landscape inquiry loosely springing from an experimental combination of about 300 sheets of expired 4x5 film, an ultra minimalist wooden pinhole camera loaned from a friend, and the simple utter truth that i fell in love with a 14 mile palm-lined boulevard in Fresno

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Alÿs in wonderland

Head to toes: Francis Alÿs's paths of resistance - artist
ArtForum, April, 1999 by Carlos Basualdo
. . . part of an ongoing series of projects the artist calls paseos (strolls). Generally carried out with various props in tow, the paseos have been enacted in any number of diverse locales: Alÿs strolled the avenues of Havana while wearing magnetic shoes; he traversed the working-class neighborhood of Pinheiros in Sao Paulo carrying a punctured can of paint that left a fine. colored line tracing the artist's path; and, in the case of the loser/the winner, he walked from one end of Stockholm to the other clad in a sweater that unraveled with every step.

In the loser/the winner, Alÿs's work - his walking - connected two sites separated in space and time: The point of departure was the modern, rationalist building, very much in the Bauhaus style, that houses Stockholm's Museum of Science and Technology. The destination was a nineteenth-century neo-romantic structure recalling in turn the palaces of a century before: today it is home to the Nordic Museum, a curious visual encyclopedia embracing everything from ethnographic displays of Laplander culture to a recent show concerning the relationship of Swedes to their cars. Alÿs's hike had taken him through the parks that lie between the museums. At both sites, viewers had at their disposal (in racks located at the entrance of the two rooms where the exhibition took place) postcards printed with the artist's image, his back turned to us, clad in an electric blue sweater, its tonality obviously manipulated on a computer, with a long unraveled thread extending from one of the sleeves to the edge of the photo. The following typed inscription was found on the postcard:

Here is a fairy tale for you Which is just as good as true What unfolds will give you passion Castles on hills & also treason How, from his cape a fatal thread To her window the villains led.

read more about the paseo