TORNADO, video installation by Francis Alÿs (Milpa Alta, Mexico)

40min – various formats – Color – Sound 5.1

Artiste: Francis Alÿs
Collaboration, DOP, Editing: Julien Devaux
Sound Editing and Mixing: Félix Blume

Ever tried. Ever Failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
(Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho, 1983)

Over the last decade Alÿs made recurrent trips to the highlands south of Mexico City to chase, video camera in hand, the dusty whirls whipped up by the wind in the burnt fields at the end of the dry season.  Rumor has it that the genesis of this project was, in fact, a comic quid pro quo:  Alÿs overheard a conversation where friends were talking about Don Quixote fighting windmills (in Spanish, molinos de viento), but he understood instead tornadoes (remolinos de viento).  As in Cervantes work, Alÿs’s intent to penetrate the peaceful zone in the epicenter of the tornado illustrates a condition where ‘the vanity of the action is paired with the absolute necessity.’

FESTIVAL: Sundance Film Festival 2011
TATE GALLERY (London), WIELS (Brussels), (New York), Contemporary Art Biennal from SAO POLO (Brazil), JUMEX (Mexico), TAMAYO Museum (Mexico),