Francis Alys A Story of Deception exhibition banner

Alÿs began to participate in international biennials in the mid-1990s. In 1997 he contributed to InSite, an exhibition held in the border region between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico. He used his commission fee to travel south from Tijuana, across to Australia, north up the Pacific Rim and south through Alaska, Canada, and the United States, reaching San Diego without having crossed the Mexico-US border. This seemingly extravagant action at once addressed the difficulties faced by Mexican citizens when trying to visit the US, and the excesses of art world travel in the 1990s. As has been his custom, Alÿs disseminated this work through the postcard available to visitors here, spreading the ideas of the action to a global audience.