Francis Alÿs · knots’n dust – Beirut Art Center, Beyrouth – 31.01.2018 – 03.05.2018

Francis Alÿs’ show at beirut art center gathers works, both early and recent, that explore zones of turbulence, the motions at the core and the spread out effects, ranging from the miniscule to the monumental. the show reflects on the notion of turbulence, from instability to total chaos, from meteorological phenomena to geopolitical manifestations, from a simple knot in the hair to an ascending spiral. knots represent links and bonds, as well as resistance and binding. they are the smallest unit in the making of a fabric yet they are its sine qua non mechanic condition: a continuous surface that can bring some opacity, some support for projection, inscription, hiding, drawing and building.

This show occurs in a country surrounded by endless conflicts and repressions and that is populated by millions of refugees. between the traces and the oblivion of the country’s wars and wounds, between memories of a faraway golden age and the never ending (re)construction of an increasingly globalized metropolis, beirut seems to produce a space inside of the tornado, in its eye, with a vision of history frozen in monochrome vision. you can see it as a space for freedom or for alienation. you can build on it or drown in it. but it will not be the same for everyone nor will it be forever.

The show will feature photographs taken by francis alÿs in the streets of beirut in 2015 at the occasion of a sand storm, as a local echo of this series, in addition to videos, a previously unseen animation film, and paintings. in these works, every affirmation walks along with its opposite, any gesture comes with its own undoing. “doubt, doubt again & doubt better” (samuel beckett). this poetic step invites the spectator to engage in larger issues throughout deceptively insignificant details.

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