If You Are a Typical Spectator, What You Are Really Doing Is Waiting for the Accident to Happen

Mexico City, 1996; 10:05 min

“After about ten minutes the action comes to an abrupt end when Alÿs unthinkingly follows the bottle into the street and is hit by a passing car.”

 

Begins with the artist in quintessential observer mode, videotaping the movements of a plastic bottle as it is blown by the wind (and occasionally kicked) around Mexico City’s main square, the Zócalo. The endless irresoluable rolling of the bottle had in fact led to a conclusion. For once, there could be no more delay. Suddenly it seemed that all the observation had been leading up to this moment. In fact, it is not possible to observe an action without affecting it. The observer is always involved, always implicated.

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