Francis Alÿs, Still from Rehearsal I, 1999-2004. Video projection.

Los Angeles

Francis Alÿs

Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
September 30–February 10

Curated by Russell Ferguson

Francis Alÿs has proposed “the politics of rehearsal” as the organizing principle of his first major US museum exhibition, which brings together some half dozen video installations, as well as preparatory drawings and paintings from the past decade. If a rehearsal is an enactment of an event that has yet to occur, then its politics would seem to locate possibility in perpetual deferral. This is one way, in any case, to think about the artist’s wryly Sisyphean projects (most recently, he traced Israel’s contested Green Line with a leaky can of paint and connected Havana to Key West with a partial “bridge” of fishing boats). Seen collectively and in light of the artist’s phrase, such interventions might describe a trajectory that bears a kind of asymptotic relationship to utopianism.