Francis Alÿs, Rafael Ortega. Rehearsal I (Ensayo I). 1999-2001

Francis Alÿs, Rafael Ortega Rehearsal I (Ensayo I) 1999-2001

  • Not on view

In Alÿs’s Rehearsal series, the musical score is the script for the image. Rehearsal I depicts a red Volkswagen Beetle tirelessly trying—and failing—to ascend a hill on the United States–Mexico border. The driver listened to a recording of a brass band rehearsing and followed these instructions: when the musicians are playing, go uphill; when the musicians lose track and stop, stop; when the musicians are tuning their instruments and chatting, go downhill. The artist uses the concept of rehearsal to render what he describes as Latin America’s “different time structure.” Politics of Rehearsal is a metaphor for Mexico's ambiguous affair with modernity, in which it is forever approaching yet always delaying the moment of consummation. The video—with voiceover commentary by the critic Cuauhtémoc Medina, Alÿs’s frequent collaborator—looks to the origins of the “development” discourse (in United States president Harry Truman’s inaugural address of 1949) and its impact since. In his speech Truman insisted that it is the United States’ responsibility to share its technological knowledge with economically “underdeveloped” nations.

Gallery label from Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception, May 8–August 1, 2011.
Medium
Video (color, sound)
Duration
29:30 min.
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
207.2007.1
Copyright
© 2021 Francis Alÿs
Installation
Rehearsal I (Ensayo I)
Department
Media and Performance

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].