Exhibition view:
"A Story of Deception", Tate Modern, London, 2010

A Story of Deception / Historia de un desengaño, Patagonia, 2003-2006
In collaboration with Olivier Debroise and Rafael Ortega
Standard 16mm film, loop, no sound, 4'20'' (consisting of two 2'10 units)
Ed. of 4 (+ 2 AP)

"A Story of Deception" is not only a story about illusions, but simultaneously a story about altered perceptions of a work that was developed in Argentina over the course of three years. The image that Alÿs founded in Patagonia - the 'fuite en avant', or the ambition to tackle a situation head on - that ends in the manifestation of a Fata Morgana, evolves from a story from Patagonia into a metaphor for the general noiton of progress.
Francis Alÿs, in a conversation in Buenos Aires:
"I began investigating the hunting of the nandu on account of an anecdote, or rumor, that I heard on my first trip to the outskirts of the pampa. They say that the Tehuelche used to hunt nandus and guanacos by physically exhausting the animals. The entire tribe would walk for weeks chasing the animal, until the nandu would finally gave up or died of exhaustion. I was fascinated by the absolute simplicity of the technique, and of course the use of walking as a weapon, as a hunting method."
In November 2004, when Francis Alÿs was by back in the Valdes Peninusula, where he at last saw nandus and guanacos living semi-wild in 'conditional freedom', he returned to that selfsam sheet of paper, scribbled down a few worlds and added two lines and an unlikely vanishing point, resulting in "Chaising the vanishing point" (Argentina - Fontana, A Story of Deception).

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