Colector (The Collector)

Mexico City, Mexico, 1990-1992; 8:56 min

In collaboration with Julien Devaux and Octavio Iturbe.

“The man who led a magnetic toy dog on a string through the streets of the city.”


One of his avatars is certainly The Collector (1990–92), a little dog-like object on rubber wheels, its body magnetized, that Alÿs led through the streets to pick up metallic bits and pieces as it went. Here we can see a developing predilection for the random, for the leftovers of the city in preference to the all-encompassing modernist rationalism that had informed Alÿs’s earlier training as an architect. Further, in this apparently simple piece, we can see the origins of Alÿs’s future as a creator of rumors, of urban myths.

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