WIELS is the main centre for contemporary art in the middle of the capital of Europe. It’s a space for innovative ideas and creative experiences. WIELS wants to enrich the debate, provide new perspectives and stimulate the senses with a daring program.
Since 1999, during his many travels, Francis Alÿs has documented children playing in public places. At the Venice Biennale, Alÿs presented a series of filmed children games made during the pandemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Belgium, Hong Kong, Mexico and Switzerland, in dialogue with a group of his discreet small-format paintings. For the presentation at WIELS, he completes several new films, including children's games he recently saw in Ukraine. He confronts them with the film installation The Silence of Ani (2015), in which children play hide-and-seek in the ruins of an ancient Armenian city on the edge of present-day Turkey. Using bird calls, the children create the illusion that the city is coming back to life.