For the last decade Alÿs has made repeated trips to the dusty highlands south of Mexico City to chase the tornadoes that frequently occur in that region at the end of the dry season. Tornado unfolds in three movements: waiting for the storms, pursuing them, and catching or missing them. Depicting a one-on-one challenge of the power of nature, the work is a recognition of human persistence, emphasizing the necessity of pursuing ideals however unattainable or absurd they may seem. It is also a reflection on the present chaotic state of Mexico and a study of the search for a moment of order within it; scientifically speaking, tornadoes are instances of order emerging from chaos.
Gallery label from Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception, May 8–August 1, 2011.