Francis Alÿs

May 21, 2017

 I'm so impressed with this artist's website that I've pretty much copied it (thanks Francis - hope you don't mind). Actually there are some of his works that inspire me too.


In particular the work (screenshot from the video) above title "Painting/Retoque".


The video begins with text saying "From the 3rd to the 5th of November 2008, 60 medium strips erased by the passage of time, were repainted in the former Panama Canal Zone. What follows is the recording of the action... of retouching one medium strip in the ex-US base of Paraiso


This is what it says about it on his website "Alÿs similarly combined painting with performative action, again merging the poetic with the political. The artist meticulously repainted sixty yellow median strips on a road in the former American Panama Canal Zone, the territory joining the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In this case, Alÿs created a “found” painting in a public space charged with memories of past political conflicts. The gesture of wielding the brush became an act of healing in a traumatized territory." 


I'm attracted to the words "merging the poetic with the political", two words that came up in my crit session of Tarkanya. I'm also attracted to the phrase which say he "created a "found" painting" - something quite strange - the concept of creating something found - but it also makes sense to me. In my Art Adventure Tours recently, I "found" the lines on the road that had been mended and traced them with chalk (see image)... and also we traced with our hands, tagging and graffiti on walls - could that also be creating an found painting? 



There are themes of meticulousness in many modern artist's works these days. Some artists do all the work themselves - such as Francis - he has, according to the blurb "meticulously repainted sixty yellow median strips". Do Han Soh's work is incredibly crafted - the rubbings and the re-creations of his apartment - but he gets help with those - not sure how much. 


I'm also attracted to the words "gesture of wielding the brush became an act of healing". I'm coming across the artists who do have somewhere in their work, elements of healing through their art.




Top: Francis Alys: Painting/Retoque, Paraiso, Panama, 2008

Bottom: Fiona Haasz: Kintsugi road, Heidelberg, Chalk, Photo 2017


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