Les delices d’Alÿs, Viscogliosi, Signer

The Francis Alÿs exhibtion at the Tate is very inspiring and thought-provoking. For me his work (which varies greatly and spans all kinds of different media) somehow serves to glue together various fragments in my head: bits of dream, moments in shows, pages from books… 

For example. Many of his beautiful paintings, sketches and drawings described gameish, dream-like relationships of body to phenomena, or noumena (a word i’d never heard of before)… 


in ways that variously reminded me of Akhe (particularly this scene, 1 minute in here…)


but especially Dans L’espace’ by Fabio Viscogliosi, one of my favourite artist books. Fabio used to draw these kind of cartoons for the science pages of Le Monde, hence the titles. Some photos from the page, click for big… 


Alÿs’s video work is probably what most people are quickest to report, his film compiling ten years of tornado-chasing above all (he’d start by calmly filming these stunningly beautiful, whiring clouds of dusk, alone in the expanse of a scorced Mexican landscape, before running in, camera in hand, the blue sky quickly obliterated, microphones battered… you can just see him going in here).

Elements from both his paintings and actions (the gun, the ice block, the VW going up and down the slope…) combine to remind me of Roman Signer, probably my favourite artist of all if I had to choose…



who, together with Tinguely and Fischli & Weiss, sometimes form (in my head at least) a strange Swiss family of Heath-Robinson ‘happeners’. Below is I think some of the best of what’s available of Signer’s work on the web right now. For more of this I recommend the amazing documentary ‘on the road’ with him called Signers Koffer (worth those 27 euros just for the beautiful soundtrack by Knut Remond)
This is a good, if a little hurried, overview of his work – especially for german speakers. I once actually had a dream almost exactly how this starts – canoeing next to a canal… 
Et puis… un retour au sommeil


One response to “Les delices d’Alÿs, Viscogliosi, Signer

  1. I think you’re the first to see the links between Francis Alÿs, Roman Signer and "Dans l’espace". Thanks for that!FV

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