Beirut. “Knots’n dust” is Francis Alÿs’ first solo show in the Middle East

From weather phenomena to geopolitical manifestations: at Beirut Art Center, the Belgian master of story-telling explores the notion of “turbulence”.

Francis Alÿs, Tornado, video still

The projects by Francis Alÿs have included pushing a massive block of ice around Mexico City until it melted. He persuaded five hundred Peruvian volunteers to move a huge sand dune by shovel; traced a line along the portion of the ‘Green Line’ (the 1949 armistice line between Israel and Palestine) that runs through the municipality of Jerusalem, with a leaking can of green paint. The celebrated artist-architect Francis Alÿs is now back with a solo show titled “Knots’n dust”, on view at the Beirut Art Center until 9 April, 2018 – his first solo exhibition in Lebanon, and in the region.

“Knots’n dust” is the result of a two-year collaboration with Marie Muracciole, Director of Beirut Art Center, and features both early and recent works, including the video projection “Tornado 2000-10”, a selection of photographs taken in the streets of Beirut in 2015 during a sand storm, and a new animation film titled “Exodus 3:14” (working title) about a female character in the act of knotting her hair, a beautiful gesture transformed into a task impossible to complete. At the core of the exhibition is the notion of “turbulence”: from the minuscule to the monumental, from instability to total chaos, from weather phenomena to geopolitical manifestations.

Francis Alÿs, Explosion, Beirut Art Center, 2018
Francis Alÿs, Explosion , Beirut Art Center, 2018

Born in Belgium in 1959, Alÿs moved to Mexico City in the mid 1980s at a time of political unrest. Both ephemeral and poetic story-telling gems, his works are characterized by a strong aesthetic power and ceaseless, playful curiosity.

Knots’n dust
Francis Alÿs
Opening dates:
31 January – 9 April 2018
Beirut Art Center
Marie Muracciole
Jisr el wati – off corniche an nahr building 13, street 97, zone 66 adlieh, Beirut, Lebanon

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