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Alÿs, Francis

Time is a Trick of the Mind

Book about Francis Alÿs installation. It consists of a looped animated film of a child clacking a stick along railings, projected in two duplicate versions just above floor-level; these gradually move out of sync, self-reflexively pointing to the inadequacies of their own production. The work is accompanied by a battalion of 28 walking-sticks (including a ‘silver erotic walking-stick’ from Essex – well, where else? – and an antique ‘walking-stick with negro’s head’, which, when twisted, activates brown glass eyes and an ivory red tongue), pursuing the common aim of defending, or manifesting, the presence of the audience as users of the exhibition. In understanding this particular work the immanent passage of time could be considered as measured movement, and what better aid could there be for this than the steadying potential of a cane?

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