Borders and Francis Alys

going backwards:

*walking, crossing borders: Alys and geographical border in artistic practice

Francis Alÿs; green line, silence of ani, the loop, when faith moves mountains

Works of Francis Alÿs acknowledges that poetics to politics and politics to poetics are always contingent. The piece, Green Line has a sub-title which is like a quote to dwell later on: “sometimes doing something poetic can become political and sometimes doing something political can become poetic”


Ekran Resmi 2016-09-09 16.32.35.png

He makes what is invisible but there exists; the green line drawn in 1948-1949 already has an absurd story. Although today google maps have eradicated palestine (see the map figure below), there are people living under siege, being confined to borders with walls, fences, traffic control, bridges and highways. Israeli planning have formed many different methods to control and block people from palestine, generated the most distinguished practice of bordering.

After the Lebanon war, Benveniste  asks the question of “[w]ho owned the width of line?” (…) He refers to the story of border lines of  between Israel and Jordan in 1949. Drawn with different kind of pencils  on the laid-out map, the difference in thickness and softness between pencils produced three to four millimeters, in 1:20 000 scale map the unbelonged line widths were up to 80 meters.”

A performance revisited,from The Leak in Sao Paolo in 1995, he uses green paint instead and makes visible now borderwall that seperates the land. Here, Alys acts politically within his artistic practice;  to cite from Ranciere, “politics consist of making visible that which is not visible”

Paul Klee avers that “Drawing is like taking a line for a walk”, which asserts that such drawing to be doing while drawing, just as Alys’ drawing the green line, becomes visible as he walk-

and sometimes doing nothing leads to nothing. the loop

map 1. image from google maps eradicated palestine. follow the dashed line for westbank and the rest. (below)
Ekran Resmi 2016-09-09 15.16.12.png

Ekran Resmi 2016-09-09 16.32.13.png

diagrammatic maps 2-3: last accessed 9.10.2016


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