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La dépense

Francis Alÿs - La dépense
The catalogue for Francis Alÿs's first large-scale solo museum exhibition in China at the Rockbund Art Museum provides an insightful and critical look into Alÿs's practices.
With his acute poetic and imaginative powers of perception, Alÿs raises questions about anthropology and geopolitics, creating works from his close observations of everyday life. The exhibition's title, "La dépense," which translates to "consumption," references French philosopher Georges Bataille's writings on the general economy and the "paradox of utility." As Yuko Hasegawa notes: "In a China transformed by a fast-paced transition to capitalism and the efficiencies of technology, excessively 'non-productive consumption' (dépense improductive) is just as important in human activity as productive consumption." La dépense presents close to 1300 works, including drafts, videos, sketches, paintings, drawings, and other preparatory works. Some of the works have never been seen by the public before, offering a rare glimpse into the artist's working methods. It includes documentation of the eponymous exhibition at the Rockbund Art Museum,  along with the introductory texts by curator Yuko Hasegawa, which present Alÿs's work from four aspects: Art between Ethnography and Allegory/Fiction, To Derail the Logic of Economic Thinking, Time and Life, In Closing.
The paper used in this publication has the touch and toughness of fiber. This durable material fits Francis Alÿs' reflections on a large amount of consumption in our daily life. A particular combination of Chinese and Western reading habits in the binding and typographic reading style is also a unique feature of this publication.
Francis Alÿs was born in Belgium in 1959 and trained as an architect before re-locating to Mexico City in 1986, where he has been based ever since. He is best known for his actions which he documents in various ways. Some just involve him walking through the city; other actions are epic events set in dramatic landscapes involving hundreds of participants. Alÿs also works with painting, animation and drawing, and many of the images he creates have a dreamlike surreal quality. His actions are frequently humorous, often transient, and can sometimes seem absurd, but they are always concise and carefully planned. For a long time Alÿs has been interested in spreading news about his work through unconventional means such as rumour, so audiences can interpret his projects in unpredictable ways without seeing images of them. All these poetic qualities lead to his idiosyncratic way of approaching questions to do with urbanism, economics, migration, and borders. Throughout his career he has particularly investigated the processes of modernisation in Mexico and in Latin America.
Edited by Guo Juan and Ming Lin.
published in May 2019
bilingual edition (English / Chinese)
14 x 21 cm (thread bound)
160 pages (98 ill.)
ISBN : 978-3-95679-439-1
EAN : 9783956794391
in stock
(last copies available!)
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