Francis Alÿs, ‘Camgun #66’, 2008, Galerie Peter Kilchmann

61 x 91 cm (tracing paper)
The 'Camgun', a sculpture touching the border between a camera and a machine gun, is also a reflection of Francis Alÿs position as a chronicher of the violence of life in the Mexican capital.
Around the same time that Alÿs was exploring the idea of the camera as a weapon in 'Gringo' he was expanding the theme in 'Camguns', a series of assemblages of wooden rifles and found film rolls and reels. Evoking the simulated weapons used by the Zapatista Army when they appeared on the Mexican scene in 1994, this work explicitly connects the 'shooting' of images to that of bullets.

About Francis Alÿs

Conceptual artist Francis Alÿs 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).

Belgian, b. 1959, Antwerp, Belgium, based in Mexico City, Mexico