Sandlines, the Story of History
by Francis Alÿs, Iraq 2020, 61'
SCREENPLAY: Francis Alÿs   ORIGINAL SIZE: Francis Alÿs, Ivan Boccara, Julien Devaux
PHOTOGRAPHY: Julien Devaux   PRODUCER: Francis Alÿs
EDITING: Felix Blume   LANGUAGE: vo: Arab, English; sub: Arab, English, Italian

Schermo dell'Arte - Archivio Film   Presented at Lo schermo dell’arte 2020

Belgian artist Francis Alÿs moves in the interdisciplinary space between art, architecture, performance and social practice. His works examine the tension that exists between political commitment, poetic evocation, individual action, and collective mythology. To film Sandlines, the artist worked in a remote village near Nineveh, Iraq, with a group of children who, as in a role-playing game, become characters who have marked their country’s history. To make them understand the present, Alÿs revisits moments from Iraq’s past through a narrative structure of many short acts: from the Sykes-Pycot agreement of 1916, which defined the spheres of influence of European nations in the Middle East in the aftermath of the First World War, to the establishment of ISIS in 2016. With minimal scenery, the children interpret Saddam Hussein, the American marines of Operation Desert Storm and Arab jihadists. Despite their country’s devastation, the children seem light-hearted and innocent while playing in the desert dunes.

Francis Alÿs (Belgium 1959, lives and works in Mexico City), renowned international artist, works with performance, installation and video. He has exhibited in major museums and art centers around the world. Among his personal exhibitions: Eye Filmmuseum (Amsterdam 2019-20), RAM (Shanghai 2018), Art Gallery of Ontario (2017), dOCUMENTA 13, MoMA (2011), Tate Modern (2010). He will represent Belgium at the 2022 Venice Biennale.

Filmografia selezionata:
Children’s Games, 1999-2018, 2018; Color Matching, 2016; The Silence of Ani, 2015; Paradox of Praxis 5, 2013; Reel/Unreel, 2012.

[close details]