Disarm at TodaysArt, The Hague

26 Sep

23-25 September 2016

Disarm (mechanized) by Pedro Reyes in Pulchiri, The Hague.

Disarm (mechanized) by Pedro Reyes in Pulchiri, The Hague.

“Disarm (mechanized)” by Pedro Reys are a collection of mechanical musical instruments made in part out of firearms, including revolvers, shot-guns and machine-guns, given to him by the Mexican government in the city of Ciudad, Juarez, after they had been rendered useless by tanks and steamrollers. In hearing of his work “Palas Por Pistolas,” where he transformed 1,527 guns owned by the residents of Culiacán by melting these down into 1,527 shovels, which were then used to plant 1,527 trees around the world, he was offered 6,700 destroyed weapons from the Mexican Secretary of Defence in 2012. “Disarm (Mechanized),” his second work made from these firearms, can either be automated or played live by an operator using a laptop computer or midi keyboard. This 3.55 min video clip is a piece run from a laptop titled “Turner 2015” in the Pulchri gallery in the Hague.

“For Pedro Reyes the process of transforming weapons into objects of positive utility was more than physical. “It’s important to consider that many lives were taken with these weapons; as if a sort of exorcism was taking place, the music expelled the demons they held, as well as being a requiem for the lives lost.” Artlyst.com, 25 Sept, 2015

“Pedro Reyes’ work is a socio-political critique on contemporary society and our responsibility towards it. His projects are catalysts for communal and psychological transformation, triggering group interaction and creativity.

Disarm is a demand for towns and cities across the world to relinquish their weapons and transform them from agents of death to agents of life. It is an attempt to highlight the invisible violence that underpins the international industry of death and suffering: the commercial and government complicity that allows for weapons to be made and sold by public companies for shareholder profit; the laws banning assault rifles which go neglected; and the films and video-games which depict trigger-happy heroes. For Reyes, an idealist whose projects affect real change and are often explicit attempts to improve the society around him, a world free of guns is a human right, and a utopian ideal to which we should all aspire.” Lisson Gallery, 2013, London.

Pedro Reyes was born in Mexico City in 1972, where he lives and works. He has won international attention for his large-scale projects that associate social issues with imaginative solutions. Pedro Reyes was awarded a Medal for the Arts in January 2015, by the US State Department for his continued commitment to the State Department’s cultural diplomacy outreach.

See his website or his blog for more.

TodaysArt Festival, hosted annually since 2005 in the Hague, focusses on the presentation and development of contemporary visual and performing arts and emerging culture. About the 2016 edition.


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