For this exhibition, Francis Alÿs presents his series of scenes of children at play around the world. Begun in 1999 and currently active, this series features nearly 20 videos, and it’s an inventory of childhood activities offers a fresh perspective on real-life moments that are both banal and remarkable.
By exploring public space and the everyday through the playful imagination of children, Alÿs presents an intimate yet political view of the universal and unifying nature of games. The images he has captured in Mexico, Afghanistan, Nepal, Belgium, Iraq, Venezuela, France, Morocco and Jordan show how children turn simple, ordinary things—chairs, coins, sand, stones, plastic bottles—into the foundation of unlikely and fantastical universes. Transformed by imagination and a fraternal spirit that is both tacit and spontaneous, these objects lose their usual prosaicness to find new symbolic potential. With each gesture, the children reinvent the world, the tensions that organize it and the converging forces that travel through it.