Francis Alÿs works with painting, drawing, sculpture, video and animation. In this, his second exhibition at Lisson Gallery, he will be showing his installation The Last Clown, a pointed and ironic testimony to his use of varied media and shift between different artistic activities. The work brings together small paintings, a number of drawings and studies and a film animated by the artist. A walk, an anecdote and an image form the central components of the work against a backdrop of music and canned laughter. At the origin of this ensemble is a commonplace but personal story of an accidental fall taken by a friend of Alÿs which gave rise to a discussion between the two on the ambiguity of the current role of the artist. The Last Clown, to some extent, represents the artist who finds himself performing on a stage. The atmosphere of jazz and circus music cut suddenly to canned laughter serves to dramatize the comic aspect of his performance.
The Last Clown was co-produced with the artist Rafael Ortega. It has previously been shown at Galerie de l’UQAM in Montreal and at Fundacio La Caixa in Barcelona. Francis Alÿs has a solo exhibition at Musée Picasso in Antibes until the end of June. He is also participating in this year’s Venice and Istanbul Biennales. Francis Alÿs had his first solo exhibition in the UK at Lisson Gallery in 1999.