When Faith Moves Mountains, Lima, Peru, April 11, 2002
Installation, variable dimensions.
Materials: mixed media
Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp / Collection Flemish Community (Inv. no. BK007510).
The installation presents documentation of the participative performance When Faith Moves Mountains, in which Francis Alÿs invited eight hundred Peruvian volunteers to displace a mountain by 10 cm. The performance took place on the 11th of April 2002 as part of the Third Ibero-American Biennial of Lima. Even though the task itself sounds impossible, it did not demotivate the crowd involved. On the contrary, it motivated the volunteers to unite and try harder in the desire to contribute to a common goal.
With this absurd gesture, Alÿs’s work reflects on the topic of social unification in times of need, the willingness to build Utopia, and, above all, it conveys the concept of believing in one's strengths even when the aim may seem entirely out of reach. At times of political upheaval and war, faith and unity can make the impossible possible when the community chooses to unite, as it is presently being demonstrated in Ukraine.
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