Francis Alÿs



30 May – 14 September 02


The KW Institute for Contemporary Art is proud to present an exceptional exhibition project:

Following an invitation of the KW, the Belgian artist Francis Alÿs now living in Mexico City has worked out a joint exhibition with the Mexican Film-director Alejandro Gonzàles Inàrritu. This exhibition was developed out of the awarded (between others Cannes - Critics Week 2001, Best Film) and Oscar-nominated film Amores Perros by Alejandro Gonzàles Inàrritu.

Francis Alÿs has had a decisive influence on the contemporary art scene. His own insigts and portraits of everyday life in Mexico City have been largely noted. In this exhibition he presens his investigation of fiction and documentation, exemplified through Amores Perros, which is exceptional in terms of ist story-telling-techniques and radicality. In collaboration with the director Alejandro Gonzàles Inàrritu, Francis Alÿs is composed a selection of the multi-layered film material, constituting his interpretation.

None of the shown material was used on the film, either because it was meant as footage in the preparation process, such as research or castings, because the scenes were not incorporated or because it merely was only usant as a step in the condensation of the story-line.

In his selection Francis Alÿs follows two principles: On the one hand, he shows the development from reality to fiction by following the different steps of the film making - from story-board scetches, photos and the first crude video documentations to the latest filmed material, just before completion. The film is turning into a convincing representation of reality the more ficticious it gets through manipulation by make-up, light design and staging. On the other hand, Alÿs does a research on the politics of rehearsal. The stuttering effect provoked by the consecutive rehearsal sessions induces a state of suspension, a hypnosis in the repeated act and conveys a state of endurance and patience. Amores Perros is a metaphor on the co-existence of creatures (humans and dogs) in the biggest city of the world. It describes their interdependence within the binding incident of the car crash. Through his research on the development of the film and the different levels of relationships in real life, Alÿs mirrors those interdependencies and relations which he also uses as the starting point to present his production.

The spectator becomes familiar with a story where the action is constantly delayed. The attempt to tell the story is surpassed by ist own actions. The need to reveal the storys end, declines. Both the presentation of the slow but constant development of the actual acting itself and the representation that is never completely achieved and the presentation of the rehearsal sessions become metaphors for the Mexican society - metaphors for the ambivalent relationship of modernity, which is aimed at yet constantly delayed - metaphors for the constant reformation, the moment that "it" will happen - metaphors for the desire to persist in a situation of transition that is rather open than fixed.

The project was realized in close collaboration of Francis Alÿs, Alejandro Gonzàles Inàrritu/Lucero Gutierrez and Klaus Biesenbach. Klaus Biesenbach is the artistic director of KW and Chief-Curator of PS1/MoMA and has worked regularely in Mexico for the last two years in order to prepare a cohesive group exhibition on contemporary art from Mexico City. (Opening: June 02 / PS1 and September 02 / KW). This exhibition has been organized in cooperation with and for KW and is thus corresponding to KWs aim to present new works in cooperation with international artists.

The exhibtion has been realized with the support of Sammlung Olbricht, Wolfgang Schoppmann and the Freundeskreis der Kunst-Werke Berlin, GZK e.V..