Pedro Reyes (artist)

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Pedro Reyes (born 1972 Mexico City) is a Mexican artist. He uses sculpture, architecture, video, performance and participation. His works aims to increase individual or collective agency in social, environmental or educational situations.


After studying Architecture, Reyes founded "Torre De Los Vientos", an experimental project space in Mexico City which operated from 1996-2002. Together with Joseph Grima he was co-founder of and "The Urban Genome Project".

Palas por Pistolas[edit]

“Palas por Pistolas” is an art project and a campaign to curb the trade of small weapons into Mexico. The campaign was first organized with the support of the Botanical Garden of Culiacán and the City authorities. The population was invited by a series of TV ads and radio announcements to exchange firearms for vouchers and electric appliances. The campaign broke the national record of voluntary donation, and the firearms were crushed by a steamroller, melted and re-moulded into 1,527 gardening tools. These shovels have been distributed to a number of art institutions and public schools where adults and children engage in the action of planting 1527 trees. Tree plantings have taken place at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2008),San Francisco Art Institute (2008) Maison Rouge, Paris (2008), Lyon Biennial (2009), Marfa, Texas (2010), Denver, Colorado (2010), Boston (2011). It aims to show how “an agent of death can become and agent of life”.[1]

Baby Marx[edit]

"Baby Marx" is a puppet comedy, featuring as main characters Karl Marx and Adam Smith. It first started as Reyes’ contribution to the 2008 Yokohama Triennale and then as a Project for the CCA Kitakyushu. Curator Akiko Miyake and puppet master Takumi Ota worked with Reyes to create a series of puppets and a trailer which were exhibited in a traveling show in Japan. Mexican production house Detalle Films became interested in producing the first episode that would be come a TV series. A pilot was shot in 2009 which created interest in a feature film rather than a TV series. Recently Baby Marx has been shown at the Walker Art Center, in Minneapolis, and a series of small clips have been released for the internet.


"Sanatorium" is a temporary clinic that provides short, unexpected therapies. Brought to Brooklyn in 2011 with the Guggenheim's support, Sanatorium is a utopian clinic of topical treatments for those inner-city afflictions we are all too familiar with: stress, loneliness and hyper-stimulation.[2] In two-hour windows, Sanatorium visitors experience up to 3 sessions from 16 options through meetings with a series of “therapists". In "therapy" one gets to play and consider self. The cure is in the process, powered by what the individual is willing to give and unload. All 16 treatments are based on traditional methods of expression or respected forms of perception changing programming.[3] Balancing reality and fiction, Sanatorium draws from Gestalt psychology, theater warm-up exercises, Fluxus events, conflict resolution techniques, trust-building games, corporate coaching, psychodrama, and hypnosis. In 2012, Sanatorium can be seen at DOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel.[4]

Individual Exhibitions (selection)[edit]

2012: Melodrama and Other Games. FACT, Liverpool, UK
2011: Babymarx. The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
2011: Sanatorium. The Guggenheim Museum, NY
2009: Pedro Reyes, Center for Contemporary Art Kitakyushu, Japan.
2008: 47 undertakings, Bass Museum of Art, Miami. Caractères Mobiles, Galería Yvon Lambert, Paris. Conflict Resolution, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco.
2007: Vehículo de Pasajeros a Propulsión Humana, Galería Heinrich Erhardt, Madrid. Principles of Social Topology, Galería Yvon Lambert, New York. Ad usum: To be used, Americas Society, New York
2006: Ad usum: To be Used, Carpenter Center at Harvard University, Cambridge MA; Reciclon, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado
2005: Dream Digestor, Arnolfini, Bristol U.K.
2002: Nomenclatura Arquímica, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City

Group Shows and Commissions (Selection)[edit]

2012 ROUNDTABLE: The 9th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea[5]

2011 Evento, pour une Re-evolution Urbaine. Bordeaux Biennale, France.

2011 Festival of Ideas for a New City. New Museum, NY

2011 We are all Astronauts. Universe Richard Buckminster Fuller reflected in contemporary art. MARTa Herford, Germany

2010 Bienale of the Americas, Denver Colorado. Nuevas adquisiciones, MUSAC. España. In Lieu of Unity, Ballroom Marfa, Texas.

2009 1989, The end of the history or the beginning of the future? Kunsthalle Wien

2009 Lyon Biennale. Lyon, France.

2008 Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama

2008 Prospect 1 Biennial, New Orleans

2008 Experiment Marathon II, Reykjiavik Art Museum

2007 Experiment Marathon I, Serpentine Gallery, London

2007 Viva la Muerte!, Kunsthalle Wein, Vienna.

2007 Everstill/Siempretodavía, Fundación Federico García Lorca Granada

2007 Escultura Social, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

2007 Elephant Cemetery. Artists Space. NY.

2007 Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Art Museum.

2007 Busan Biennale, South Korea.


  1. ^ "Palas por Pistolas". 
  2. ^ Garcia-Vasquez, Marina. "Pedro Reyes' Sanatorium, A Social Experiment in Sanity for Busy New Yorkers". Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Garcia-Vasquez, Mariana. "Pedro Reyes' Sanatorium". Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  4. ^ [url=]
  5. ^

External links[edit]