Francis Alÿs Ciudad Juárez projects at David Zwirner London


On June 11th, David Zwirner Gallery in London will unveil Ciudad Juárez Projects, the artist’s third solo presentation at David Zwirner and his first gallery exhibition in London in fifteen years. Centered around a collection of films, paintings, and drawings made between 2010 and 2015, the show foregrounds the socioeconomic collapse of Ciudad Juárez, a Mexican border city plagued by drug-related violence. Alÿs presents his distinct poetic and imaginative sensibility towards anthropological and geopolitical concerns centered around observations of, and engagements with, everyday life, which the artist himself has described as “a sort of discursive argument composed of episodes, metaphors, or parables.”

Through Ciudad Juárez Projects, Alÿs explores how beauty and art can be reconciled with devastation, probing the role of the artist in a time of crisis. In the works on view, which collectively present a picture of life in some of the areas that have been most affected by violence and crime, Alÿs does not offer solutions, but rather poses open-ended questions, in particular related to the role of the artist in the time of a national crisis. Among the pieces to be displayed in the exhibit are Children’s Game #15: Espejos, Ciudad Juárez, México (2013), a film of a group of young boys playing tag in a crumbling housing block, and Untitled, a painted diagram of Ciudad Juárez’s interrelated issues and objectives.

Ciudad Juárez projects will to the 5th of August, 2016 at David Zwirner Gallery, 24 Grafton Street in London.