25-11-2016

Francis Alÿs, Ciudad Juárez Projects, Proyectos Impala

Architecture and Culture,

Exhibition,

Ciudad Juárez Projects is a body of work that began during a number of visits by Belgian artist Francis Alÿs, who has lived in Mexico City for many years.



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Francis Alÿs, Ciudad Juárez Projects, Proyectos Impala Ciudad Juárez Projects is a body of work that began during a number of visits by Belgian artist Francis Alÿs, who has lived in Mexico City for many years. A visual narrative of the city as well as the creative process on the role of the artist in the urban and social context.


Proyectos Impala in an old truck trailer refurbished by the architects in Urbánika as desired by the Mexican artist and curator Alejandro Morales from Juárez, is a travelling platform, which takes exhibitions “on the road” to people who would normally not have access to art. 
This forms the backdrop for the exhibition “Francis Alÿs, Ciudad Juárez Projects”, actually the third exhibition on show realized by Proyectos Impala. This renowned Belgian artist who has lived in Mexico for thirty years and exhibits all over the world (his artworks are displayed right now in the Menhil Collection, Texas, at the Secession in Vienna, at the biennials in Taipei and São Paolo), visited Ciudad Juárez several times in 2013 and 2014. During these visits he completed two video projects, Children's Game #15, 2013 and Paradox of Praxis #52013, crafted with the active participation of a group of residents who acted as the brokers and “cultural translators” so Alÿs could create a real artistic response rooted in the urban context of this town on the international border.
Unlike many other artists who are inspired by a place but don't return there, Francis Alÿs brings his art back to where he created it, thanks to Alejandro Morales who he worked with in 2013, even before Proyectos Impala existed but at a time when both of them were questioning their relationship with the city and the role of contemporary art for it. Which is why the truck trailer converted into an art gallery shows both the two videos and his notes, maps, drawings and photographs that formed the basis for the artwork: a journey across creativity generated by the ties with a place and with its people.
In the words of Kerry Doyle, director of the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), member of the Board of Advisors in Impala, Francis Alÿs gives us a visual map of the artist's process as he negotiates his own role in relation to the conflict playing out in the urban landscape. To what point can artists take action, what do they transmit to their audience, can this change anything?
“Francis Alÿs, Ciudad Juárez Projects”is on exhibition until 15 December 2016, in different areas of Ciudad Juárez. To find out the exact position of Proyectos Impala see the gallery website.

Christiane Bürklein

Exhibition: Francis Alÿs, Ciudad Juárez Projects
c/o Proyectos Impala, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
from 17 October to 11 December 2016
Images: © Jorge Cuevas, © Proyectos Impala
Find out more:
Proyectos Impala: http://proyectosimpala.com/ciudad-jurez-projects-1/
Francis Alÿs: http://francisalys.com/

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