This is a story about an exhibit that is showing at the Art Gallery of Ontario at the moment, “A Story of Negotiation” by Francis Alys. The exhibit is a look at three of Alys’s large projects. For each project there were many studies, notes, and sketches. Drawings and paintings dot the walls and cover many tables. There are three large videos to watch (not the ones shown below). It is a fairly complex installation and only a small part of it is included here.
below: In 2006 Alys tried to organize two lines of fishing boats, one from Florida and one from Cuba, that would form a bridge between the United States and Florida. It was unsuccessful. He repeated the project in 2008, this time between Spain and Morocco.
below: More on borders, pairs of words that depend on which side you’re on.
Words such as leave/return and us/them.
Alys also spent time embedded with British forces in Afghanistan.
below: Alys made a videos on kids flying kites in Afghanistan. There was also a video of kids rolling a large reel of film through the streets and alleys in an Afghan city.
below: Weapons made of found objects
below: Instead of a round of ammunition, there is a reel of film. This is true in all of Alys’s ‘automatic rifles’ that are displayed here
The exhibit continues at the AGO until April 2nd.