Francis Alÿs When Faith Moves Mountains 2002

  • Not on view

Alÿs’s motto for When Faith Moves Mountains is “Maximum effort, minimum result.” For this epic project the artist invited five hundred volunteers to walk up a sand dune on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, shoveling in unison, thus displacing the dune by a few inches. Demonstrating a ridiculous disproportion between an effort and its effect, the work is a metaphor for Latin American society, in which minimal reforms are achieved through massive collective efforts. Participants in the project gave their time for free, reversing conservative economic principles of efficiency and production. Embracing rumor, urban myth, and oral history, Alÿs aims to make works that continue beyond the duration of the event itself, through stories disseminated by word of mouth.

Gallery label from Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception, May 8–August 1, 2011.
Medium
Three 16mm films transferred to video (color, sound), 13 drawings, 46 photographs, two maps, two prints, one folded shirt
Dimensions
Dimensions variable
Credit
Gift of The Speyer Family Foundation, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, The Julia Stoschek Foundation, Düsseldorf, and Committee on Media Funds
Object number
208.2007.1-69
Copyright
© 2019 Francis Alÿs
Type
Installation
Department
Media and Performance

Installation views

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