Francis Alÿs is a crazy installation Belgian artist who’s latest work, “Seven Walks“, debuts tomorrow.
Alÿs has been walking the capital for 5 years, it is claimed, producing a range of mainly film-based art.
The walks are enacted in different parts of the city – Hyde Park, the City of London, the National Portrait Gallery, the streets close to Regents Park. Involving a diverse range of collaborators from 64 Coldstream Guards to London commuters, Alÿs delves into the everyday rituals and habits of the metropolis. The ensuing films, videos, paintings and drawings are presented together in Alÿs’ first major public presentation in Britain.
In one of his films, Coldstream Guards (dressed in Buckingham Palace Guard-style uniforms) walk around a deserted London, meeting at points where they grow into a longer “snake”. In fact, when filmed from above, it all rather looks like a human version of the popular computer game of the same name.
However, perhaps his most intriguing work is “Nightwatch” in which he releases a fox into the National Portrait Gallery. The gallery’s security cameras are then used to film the little fellow wondering around the many priceless portraits and exhibitions.
Nightwatch is available as a free download online (Windows Media format).