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The Walking Institute
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Walking the Metropolis

Symposium hosted at Firstsite, Colchester

Friday 8 November 2013 2.00 – 6.00pm

A long time resident in Mexico, Francis Alÿs recurrently explores walking as a foundation for his artistic practice. Often presented in the gallery space as video and archive documentation, these walks focus on ephemeral experiences and forms of labour which encompass the grandiose When Faith Moves Mountains in which a thousand people moved a sand dune in Lima and the small scale Paradox of Praxis which witnesses Alÿs pushing an ice block through the streets of Mexico City until it melts.

This symposium tackles another of Alÿs’ seminal projects, Seven Walks, staged in London during 2004-5. Commissioned by Artangel, these walks present Alÿs working in a very different geographical location and therefore potentially a very different social and political situation. Assembling a line-up of major speakers, this symposium is a multifaceted investigation that brings to light its artistic and political significance both within Alÿs’ oeuvre and a wider constellation of relevant contexts. 

Walking The Metropolis Website