November 15, 2015 - MALBA - Francis Alÿs: A Story of Negotiation / The Metabolic Age
November 15, 2015


Francis Alÿs, Don’t Cross the Bridge before you get to the River. Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco-Spain, 2008. Video, 7 minutes. In collaboration with Julien Devaux, Rafael Ortega, Felix Blume, Ivan Bocara, Jimena Blasquez, Roberto Rubalcava, Begoña Rey, Abbas Benhnin and the kids of Tangier and Tarifa.

Francis Alÿs
A Story of Negotiation
November 6, 2015–February 15, 2016

The Metabolic Age
September 11, 2015–February 15, 2016

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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, 2011-2014), 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.

Francis Alÿs’s first exhibition in Argentina was held at MALBA in 2006: Patagonia 2004–2006. A Story of Deception, an unprecedented project for MALBA, as it was the first artistic production funded by the museum. For that commissioned project, MALBA and Alÿs worked together for three years; the resulting work has been a part of MALBA’s collection since its completion. The filming of a mirage on a highway in Patagonia, the work Patagonia 2004–2006. A Story of Deception (2006) is a metaphor for the unreachable, for that which vanishes endlessly.

Also on view at MALBA:

La Era Metabólica (The Metabolic Age) is a curatorial project by Chus Martínez based on the famous egg by artist Federico Manuel Peralta Ramos (1939–92, Buenos Aires). The original work, titled Nosotros afuera (We, The Outsiders), produced in 1965, was recreated by MALBA for the exhibition in which art works by William Wegman, Lutz Mommartz, Eduardo Navarro, Takeshi Murata, Jon Rafman, Petra Cortright, and Charles Atlas are also exhibited until February, 15, 2016. As part of the exhibition, MALBA developed a special microsite

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A Story of Negotiation
The Metabolic Age
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