Friday, February 25, 2005

Francis Alÿs

For a long time Francis Alÿs was one of these artists I couldn't stand. He seemed incredibly pretentious in his "I'm-so-simple-and-so-deep" attitude. You see, the guy walked. That was the only thing he really did. He travelled around the world, in Mexico (which is where the Belgian artist currently lives), Sao Paulo, Stockholm, and - walked. He accompanied it obviously with "add-ons", like leaving a trace of paint or using shoes with magnets, so metal objects that lied on the ground would stick to them. But come on! Is that it? Can't you come up with anything better, stronger?
Well, he did - and proved that I had underestimated him. The work is called "When Faith Moves Mountains" and was made in 2002. Here are some resulting images:

Yes, those are people. More precisely, a group of 500 volunteers somewhere in Peru. They are moving a sand dune. With shovels.
Brilliant. Simply brilliant. More about it - and about the artist - here and here.

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