‘Sometimes doing something poetic can become political and sometimes doing something political can become poetic.’ Francis Alÿs.



Francis Alÿs, The Green Line, 2004. Video documentation of an action. Image : Julien Devaux


Wiels presents a major exhibition of work by the celebrated artist Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception. The 18 films range from tragicomic failures to poetic observations.

'Working in urban settings and dramatic landscapes, Francis Alÿs creates fable–like interventions, which frequently address a historical or political concern attached to a specific site.'

At the end of the war between Israel and Jordan in 1948, the armistice border in Jerusalem, known as ‘the green line’, was mapped out with a thick green pencil. Whilst dribbling green paint behind him from an open tin, Alÿs walks frank along this border, passing undefined spaces, checkpoints,... Some onlookers stare as they notice his strange trail. They wonder and hesitate to ask him what it means or to just indicate him on his trail.

Francis Alÿs’s work often starts with a simple act, without ever really necessarily coming to a concrete conclusion.