The Western-looking man casually leaning against the fence looks rather out of place here. The men beside him are workers who are offering their services as electricians or house painters on the signs in front of them on the ground. This photograph was taken on the Zócalo, the main square in the centre of Mexico City. The buildings around this square symbolise the republic, the church, the government and tourism. Francis Alÿs stands among the labourers, offering himself as a tourist. By doing so, Alÿs, an apparent outsider, is showing solidarity with his unemployed fellow citizens. Alÿs settled in Mexico City in the late 1980s. The core of his work is based around the many walks he takes through this city. At the Stedelijk Museum, this photograph is part of a larger installation consisting of videos, paintings and drawings. Overarching themes in this collection of works are the exploration of the city, movement through the urban environment, the role of art in society and the staging of often absurd, temporary situations in the public space.
© Francis Alÿs/Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Makers

Collection

Installations

Production date

1994

Library

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Object number

2005.1.0426(1-42)07