Francis Alÿs


les passagées recommends… 

Until January 2024 at the Wiels in Brussels, Belgian artist Francis Alÿs exhibits a wide range of videos that transport the viewer to the nostalgic realm of boundless imagination.  

Each video portrays the universal language of play, showcasing children from diverse cultures and countries engaging in an array of games. From traditional games passed down through generations to modern recreations, every frame encapsulates a certain ease and joy. 


All movies playing simultaneously, the sharp screams and laughters of dozens of children in separate frames resonate through the entire body, echoing of tenderness.  


“Whereas adults are more likely to use speech to process experiences – whereas adults speak -, children play to assimilate the realities they encounter. Their games mimic, mock or defy the rules of the adult society that surrounds them. The act of playing can also help them to cope with traumatic experiences such as those of war by creating a simulacrum of the real and turning the dramatic circumstances around them into a more fictional, ludic world. But the magical thing about a child’s game is that it holds no secrets, “it’s all there is”. We as adults should be faithful to the children we were; remember and trust that moment, the most precious one of our existence.”

— Francis Alÿs 


At les passagées we believe in the felt experience – that tuning into our inner child and sensations can open doors for new ways of perception. 


further reading:


Copyright © Francis Alÿs, Children’s Game #29: Nzango, 2021, film still. Courtesy: the artist and Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zürich; Saskia Vanderstichele, De Tijd