In this trio of videos, Alÿs walks around London's Georgian squares clack-clacking a stick along their iron railings and at one point setting off a car alarm, thus turning the armor of paranoid London into a found musical instrument. — Mark Godfrey, Art Forum, May 2006.
Over five years Francis Alÿs walked the streets of London, mapping its habits and rituals in a range of different media, and the ensuing films, videos, paintings and drawings were presented as Seven Walks at 21 Portman Square in 2005 for the artist’s first major solo exhibition in the UK. Amongst these works was Railings which explores the rhythmic possibilities of one of the characteristic features of Regency London.
Image: Francis Alÿs, Railings, 2004 (detail)
Colchester, 30 September - 30 November 2013
In the autumn of 2013, Railings was installed at Art Exchange as part of an exhibition of Francis Alÿs' project Seven Walks. The works in Seven Walks were developed by Alÿs over 5 years, and delved into the everyday rituals and habits of the metropolis. This exhibition at Art Exchange was accompanied by a symposium, which expanded on the themes of Alÿs' explorations of the city, and featured speakers TJ Demos, James Lingwood, Andrés Montenegro, Marina Warner and Richard Wentworth. The discussion was chaired by Dawn Ades.
Image: Installation view of Francis Alÿs, Railings, 2004 (detail) at Art Exchange, 2013. Photograph: Courtesy Art Exchange
Manchester, 2 July - 4 September 2011
Railings featured in 'Projections', an exhibition of four moving image projects from The Artangel Collection, shown within the context of the the Whitworth, its collection, and the park that it shares with the city of Manchester.
Image: Installation view of Francis Alÿs, Railings, 2004 (detail) at the Whitworth, The University of Manchester, 2011. Photograph: Michael Pollard