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Artist interviews Documentation Expanded Drawing

Francis Alÿs

Francis Alÿs works with video as a means to document actions that often occur in public spaces. In the iconic video-performance work Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing, (1997) the artist pushes a large block of ice around the streets of Mexico City until it completely melts away.


While Alÿs’ videos are both documentation and the work itself, in the gallery context the spatial arrangement of different works, and whether they are projected or on a screen, adds to our understand of these works.

Alÿs’ work offers us some interesting examples of expanded drawing. In his work The Greenline (2004) Alÿs literally takes a line for a walk by ‘following the portion of the ‘Green Line’ that runs through the municipality of Jerusalem’ while carrying a leaking can of green paint.

Read an interview with Francis Alÿs (PDF).