Work from Disarm at Lisson Gallery.
“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.
The exhibition at Lisson Gallery includes musical instruments created from firearms, including revolvers, shot-guns and machine-guns, which were crushed by tanks and steamrollers to render them useless. These were offered to the artist by the Mexican government following their confiscation and subsequent public destruction in the city of Ciudad, Juarez.
From the 6,700 destroyed weapons he received from the Mexican Secretary of Defense, Reyes created two groups of instruments which will be exhibited together for the first time at Lisson Gallery. The first, a series titled Imagine, is an orchestra of fifty instruments, from flutes to string and percussion instruments, designed to be played live. The second, Disarm, is a never-before-exhibited installation of mechanical musical instruments, which can either be automated or played live by an individual operator using a laptop computer or midi keyboard.
For 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.’” -Lisson Gallery