Francis Alÿs

Texts by Jean Fisher and Cuauhtémoc Medina. Interview with the artist by Russell Ferguson

Published as part of Phaidon’s Contemporary Artists series, this fully illustrated publication provides a comprehensive overview of the artist’s multifaceted projects, which include public actions, installations, videos, paintings, and drawings. Writer and curator Cuauhtémoc Medina identifies themes which run throughout the artist’s oeuvre and discusses his work in relation to the political and social landscape of Mexico City, the artist’s residence and setting for many of his artworks. Curator Russell Ferguson conducts an in-depth interview with Alÿs and Jean Fisher examines his massive collaborative project, When Faith Moves Mountains (2002), in which the artist invited 500 volunteers to displace a sand dune a few inches on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. The Artist’s Choice texts are short stories by Latin American author Augusto Monterroso, which reflect Alÿs’s interest in the role that animals and fables play in society. Also included is a selection of the artist’s writings.


Publisher: Phaidon

Artists: Francis Alÿs

Contributors: Jean Fisher, Russell Ferguson, Cuauhtémoc Medina

Publication Date: 2007

Binding: Softcover

Dimensions: 11 1/2 x 10 in (29.2 x 25.4 cm)

Pages: 160

Reproductions: 250 color, 50 b&w

ISBN: 9780714843216

Retail: $45 | £30 | $350 HKD

Status: Out Of Print

Francis Alÿs

Francis Alÿs’s art is centered around observations of, and engagements with, everyday life. His multifaceted projects include public actions, installations, videos, paintings, and drawings; the artist himself has described his work as “a sort of discursive argument composed of episodes, metaphors, or parables.” Across these different media, Alÿs presents his distinct poetic and imaginative sensibility towards anthropological and political concerns. His actions have involved traveling the longest possible route between locations in Mexico and the United States to highlight the increasing obstacles imposed along the border; pushing a melting block of ice through city streets; commissioning sign painters to copy his paintings; filming his efforts to enter the center of a tornado; carrying a leaking can of paint along the contested Israel/Palestine border; and equipping hundreds of volunteers to move a colossal sand dune ten centimeters.

All Francis Alÿs books