The Silence of Ani, 2015
Video, sound, birdcall, graphic material

Born in 1959, Antwerp, Belgium. He lives and works in Mexico City.


The Silence of Ani, 2015


On the Turkish/Armenian border  lie the ruins of once bustling Ani, a centuries-old Armenian city that now is empty. Now all that can be heard there is the wind and the rustling, flower-heavy grass.


The film shows children playing duduks, simple instruments that make bird sounds, in a game of hide and seek, in the ruins. Their birdsong breaks the silence and reactivate Ani, turning slowly into a ballad about the future and an elegy of the past.


Francis Alÿs is a conceptual artist who brings a distinct poetic and imaginative sensibility to observations of, and engagements with, both everyday life and politicized situations. In Alÿs's wide range of projects and interventions, he has taken a roundabout trip threading the United States-Mexico border—traveling from Tijuana to Australia, up the Pacific Rim to Alaska, and finally to California—to highlight the increasing obstacles imposed along the border (The Loop, 1997); pushed a melting block of ice through city streets (Paradox of Practice 1 (Sometimes Doing Something Leads to Nothing), 1997); hired sign painters to make copies of his works (Untitled (Sign Painting Project), 1993-1997); filmed an attempt to enter the center of a tornado (Tornado, 2000-2010); trailed a leaking can of paint along the Israel-Palestine border (The Green Line (Sometimes doing something poetic can become political and sometimes doing something political can become poetic), 2005); and orchestrated hundreds of volunteers to move a sand dune     (When     Faith     Moves     Mountains,     2002).

Recent shows include 2017: National Pavilion of Iraq, 57th Venice Biennale. Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, Grand Canal, Venice; WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, Belgium; Kathmandu Triennale, Kathmandu, Nepal; ASU Art Museum, Arizona State University, USA; 2016: Art Gallery of Ontario - 2016 contemporary art program, Secession, Vienna; Biennial of Taipei, Taiwan; 32nd São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil.