In this video, artist Francis Alys pushes a block of ice through the streets of Mexico City over a nine hour period, here edited down to 5 minutes. The cumbersome block gradually diminishes to the size of a tennis ball, until it finally melts into a puddle of water on the pavement. Writes artist Andrea Hickey :
“… stretching the object’s inexorable dissolution through the space of the city, the artist makes the point that progress is not inevitable – in short, that sometimes making something leads to nothing.”
It reminded of me the invisible town of Silica, in the West Virginia Appalachians, that I used to visit years ago. There was an abandoned camp on the grassy banks of a river: a schoolbus with a huge stone hearth built onto it, that I imagined a hermit to have lived in. The evidence of his life – newspapers, a few pots and pans – gradually got swept away by wind and rain and as the bus sank deeper into the ground each year, as though dissolving. That very spot was once the thriving town of Silica, which I’d seen pictures of: a glass factory, a store, houses, at the turn of the century. There was not a bit of it left, all fallen down, melted into the earth….
Still, although making something sometimes SEEMS to lead to nothing, that “nothing” is always SOMETHING: a memory, a lesson or idea for later use, or some passing effect that’s not often not apparent…one thing subtly reverberating with another…
What do you think?