This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features artist Francis Alÿs. An exhibition of paintings and Alÿs’s most recent film, REEL-UNREEL is on view at David Zwirner gallery in New York through February 9. The Alÿs film Guards (2005) is at the University of Michigan Museum of Art through March 31 and his long-running Fabiola project-cum-exhibition is now Museu do Homem do Nordeste in Brazil.
Alÿs and collaborators Julien Devaux and Ajmal Maiwandi produced REEL-UNREEL in Kabul, Afghan for last year’s Documenta 13. The film follows a series of boys through the streets of Kabul as they push a reel of film. It is on view both at Zwirner and on Alÿs’s own website, where many of his works are available via a Creative Commons license.
Alÿs was the subject of a 2010 career survey co-organized by the Tate Modern, the Museum of Modern Art and the Wiels Center for Contemporary Art in Alÿs’s native Belgium. The exhibition was curated by Mark Godfrey and Klaus Biesenbach.
Among the topics Alÿs and I discussed are:
- How and why Alÿs tends to make work in geopolitical hotspots;
- How he became interested in futility as a theme;
- The impact of his training as an architect and an engineer on his work; and
- How his Catholic upbringing has led him to consider faith and religion in his work.
Special bonus this week: Check MANPodcast.com each day to view a different Alÿs film!
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The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. It is edited by Wilson Butterworth. The MAN Podcast is released under this Creative Commons license.
For links to Alÿs films discussed on this week’s show and a few images, please click through to the jump.
Films Alÿs and I discuss include:
- REEL-UNREEL, Kabul, Afghanistan (2011);
- Children’s Games (1999-present);
- Game Over, Culiacan, Mexico (2011);
- Don’t Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River (trailer), Straits of Gibraltar (2009);
- Painting/Retoque, Paraiso, Panama (2008);
- When Faith Moves Mountains (making of), Lima, Peru (2002);
- Rehearsal I (1999-2001);
- Politics of Rehearsal, New York City (2005);
- Paradox of Praxis 1 (Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing), Mexico City (1997);
Installation view of Alÿs’s Fabiola, 2008-09. Carolina Miranda posted many super pictures of the full LACMA installation.