Will Eisner and Francis Alys

I have, here, undertaken a series of vignettes built around nine elements which, taken together, are my portrayal of a big city…any city.

Seen from afar, major cities are an accumulation of big buildings, big population and big acreage. For me it is not ‘real.’ The big city as it is seen by its inhabitants is the real thing. The true picture is in the crevices on its floors and around the smaller pieces of its architecture where daily life swirls.

Will Eisner, from the introduction to New York: The Big City

Eisner’s Comic New York: Life in the Big City (of which New York: The Big City is sub-section) contains many short episodic comics, often with little if any dialogue, depicting people engaged in small interactions with architectural elements of the city; fire hydrants, lamp posts, bins etc. It reminded me of Francis Alys’ work using similar elements in urban public space.  Below is a page from Eisner’s comic and a video by Alys.