Afterword by Enrique Juncosa
The Belgian-born artist Francis Alÿs (born 1959) is known for his walks and tales executed in a wide range of media (documentary film, painting, photography, performance, video and installation) that marry humor and sensitivity, banality and spontaneity, personal and political. A compulsive wanderer, many of his works involve intense observation and recording of the social, cultural and economic conditions of urban life. This beautifully designed volume presents an ongoing series of paintings that function as kind of a storyboard and archive of the artist's oeuvre to date. Begun in 1996, Le Temps du Sommeil ("The Time of Sleep") comprises over 100 paintings accompanied by instructions and postcards related--sometimes obliquely--to the artist's past performative actions. The instructions and paintings are presented en face, giving birth to a text-image dialogue that is sometimes witty and always fascinating. Le Temps du Sommeil affirms Alÿs yet again as an artist always able to surprise.