Wiels presents a major exhibition of work by the celebrated artist Francis Alÿs (born Belgium 1959). Using diverse poetical and allegorical approaches, Alÿs explores political subjects such as contentious borders and economic crises.
The exhibition will present iconic works alongside new pieces which have never been shown before. Working in a variety of mediums including painting, video projection, animation and sculpture, Francis Alÿs is one of the most important artists of his generation.
Francis Alÿss work often starts with a simple act, either by him or others, which is then documented in a range of media. Working in urban settings and dramatic landscapes, he creates interventions which frequently address a historical or political concern attached to a specific site. Alÿs moved to Mexico City in the mid 1980s at a time of political unrest. He began to make work which recorded every day life there, capturing images of street sleepers and workers. In Paradox of Praxis 1 1997 Alÿs pushed a block of ice around Mexico City until it melted. The work stood as an allegory about failed modernisation strategies in the region and dramatised the idea of applying maximum effort for minimum results.
Francis Alÿs was born in Belgium in 1959. His work has been included in biennials including São Paulo (1998, 2005), Istanbul (1999, 2001) and Venice (1999, 2001, 2007). He has had solo exhibitions at major international institutions including the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2004) and the UCLA Hammer (2007).
Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception is curated by Dirk Snauwaert, Director of Wiels. The exhibition was initiated in collaboration with Tate Modern (London), where it was curated by Mark Godfrey and Kerryn Greenberg, Assistant Curator, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York where it will be curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Cara Starke.