Art is divine

Poet of the Horizon

Micha Christos

David Zwirner 

Paris

108 Rue Vieille du Temple, Paris III 

 

Francis Alÿs

Don’t Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River

Francis Alÿs

Untitled (Study for ‘Don’t Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River’)

2007-2008

© Francis Alÿs

Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner

Francis Alÿs

Untitled (Study for ‘Don’t Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River’)

2007-2008

© Francis Alÿs

Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner

 

 

 

 

David Zwirner's gallery presents in Paris the exhibition "Don’t Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River" by Belgian artist Francis Alÿs.

Born in 1959 in Antwerp and settled in Mexico since 1986 after studying architecture, Francis Alÿs already has his place in many museums around the world. Recognized worldwide, he will represent his country of origin at the Venice Biennale in 2022.

 

This first exhibition in Paris brings together works produced around an action that took place simultaneously on the opposite shores of the Strait of Gibraltar, in Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa in Spain, on August 12, 2008.

 

 

 

 

Questions of urbanization and social unrest are at the root of Francis Alÿs’s motivations as a visual artist.

 

Known for his ambitious projects, Francis Alÿs uses documentary film, painting, photography, performance and video to express through his sensitivity and his imagination anthropological and geopolitical concerns at the heart of everyday life.

 

He himself describes his work as "a sort of discursive argument made up of episodes, metaphors or parables".

Freedom of movement, a most sensitive subject these days, is at the center of his concerns.


Francis Alÿs

Untitled (Study for ‘Don’t Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River’)

2007-2008

© Francis Alÿs

Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner

Francis Alÿs

Installation view of “Wet feet_dry feet: borders and games” Tai  Kwun Contemporary, 28 Oct 2020-Feb 2021. 2020-2021 © Francis Alÿs

Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner Wet feet__dry feet: borders and games at Tai Kwun Contemporary by Kwan Sheung Chi.

 

 

Since 2004, Francis Alÿs has been interested in the socio-political conflicts inherent in border areas, producing works in interstitial places such as the Strait of Gibraltar, the city of Jerusalem, the Turkish-Armenian border, the extraterritorial waters between Havana and Key West in Florida, or the Panama Canal area. "Don't Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River" is a perfect example of Alÿs' assumption that the poetic and the political are intimately linked.

 

To illustrate his point, Francis Alÿs made a video showing children holding boat shoes on the beach in Tarifa and others on the beach in Tangier. They play in the waves and each line of participants tries to catch up with the other but the tide inexorably brings them back to shore. Francis Alÿs thus tries to answer his question "Will the two lines meet in the chimera of the horizon?" 

 

 

In parallel with these images, the artist created a series of paintings, sculptures and drawings delving into his soul in a combination of patterns blending abstraction with realism.

 

In his paintings passes an infinite sweetness imprinted with strength and determination. His silhouettes of children roam the universe like giants carrying unfinished humanity in boats that sail across the ocean skies. In his eyes, the immense becomes tiny and the infinitely small grows ...

 

 


Francis Alÿs

Untitled (Study for ‘Don’t Cross the Bridge  Before You Get to the River’) 2007-2008

© Francis Alÿs Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner