"It's [Mexico City] more than an influence in the shaping of the practice: it's where I switched from architecture to my current profession. There seems to be a strange chemical reaction happening each time I return; I can arrive emptied and find myself working away two days later, without questioning vainly the mechanics and ethics of the profession. The City provokes an urge to react, you can't ignore it or it'll beat you... I think I am very lucky to have found a place that was coinciding with my obsessions, and that allowed me to develop the case (and supported me in doing so). My 'poetical tendency' is challenged and brought back to life's crude reality just by going down to the corner shop. No ivory tower allowed for the street will always beat your imagination... So, might as well stay on the street... Mexico City has got all the ingredients for 'Modernity', but somehow has managed to resist it. And it acquired a unique identity through the resistance process" (F. Alÿs in conversation with Gianni Romano, in "Francis Alÿs: Streets and Gallery Walls" reproduced in Flash Art, no. 211, 2000).