Ice 4 Milk

Ice 4 Milk is in The Artangel Collection. Since its initial presentation in 2005, the work has been presented at the Whitworth in Manchester in 2011, and at Art Exchange in Colchester in autumn 2013.

  • Artist: Francis Alÿs
  • Title: Ice 4 Milk
  • Date: 2004–5
  • Medium: 160 35mm slides, 2 projections
  • Dimension: Overall display dimensions variable
  • In the Tate Collection


In Ice 4 Milk, the artist juxtaposes photographs of milk bottles delivered to Londoners' doorsteps with images of ice blocks delivered to traders in Mexico City. Both are barely noticeable events in the daily reality of city dwellers, and yet they reveal the unwritten tradition of tiny industries, almost obsolete but persisting in the megalopolises - a touch of humanity nestled within the concrete landscape. — Coline Milliard, Art Monthly, June 2010

Over five years Francis Alÿs walked the streets of London, mapping its habits and rituals in a range of different media, and the ensuing films, videos, paintings and drawings were presented as Seven Walks at 21 Portman Square in 2005 for the artist’s first major solo exhibition in the UK. Amongst these works was Ice 4 Milk which contrasts 80 pairs of slides, depicting milk bottles deliveries on doorsteps in London, and ice blocks in Alÿs's native Mexico City.

Image: Francis Alÿs, Ice 4 Milk, 2004-5 (detail) 

at Art Exchange

Colchester, 30 September - 30 November 2013

In the autumn of 2013, Ice 4 Milk was installed at Art Exchange as part of an exhibition of Francis Alÿs' project Seven Walks. The works in Seven Walks were developed by Alÿs over 5 years, and delved into the everyday rituals and habits of the metropolis. This exhibition at Art Exchange was accompanied by a symposium, which expanded on the themes of Alÿs' explorations of the city, and featured speakers TJ Demos, James Lingwood, Andrés Montenegro, Marina Warner and Richard Wentworth. The discussion was chaired by Dawn Ades.

Image: Installation view of Francis Alÿs, Ice 4 Milk, 2004-5 (detail) at Art Exchange, 2013. Photograph: Courtesy Art Exchange

at the Whitworth, The University of Manchester

Manchester, 2 July - 4 September 2011

Ice 4 Milk featured in 'Projections', an exhibition of four moving image projects from The Artangel Collection, shown within the context of the Whitworth Art Gallery, its collection, and the park that it shares with the city of Manchester.

Image: Installation view of Francis Alÿs, Ice 4 Milk, 2004-5 at the Whitworth, The University of Manchester, 2011. Photograph: Michael Pollard

Previous Presentations

Since the launch of The Artangel Collection, Ice 4 Milk has been installed at: