an orchestra of musical instruments made from weapons by pedro reyes an orchestra of musical instruments made from weapons by pedro reyes
oct 18, 2012

an orchestra of musical instruments made from weapons by pedro reyes

an orchestra of musical instruments made from weapons by pedro reyes a stringed instrument made from firearms image © designboom

 

 

 

since 2008, mexican artist pedro reyes has been turning to weapons as a medium to address the crime rates in his native country by transforming them into objects of social engagement. he first began working with palas por pistolas, a campaign which invited citizens of the western mexican city of culiacán – a city known for high rates of gun-related deaths – to voluntarily donate illegal weapons. rewards in the form of coupons redeemable at local stores for domestic appliances and electronics, where given to those who did. the 1527 collected firearms were then crushed by steamroller, melted in a foundry and given to a major hardware store to be cast into shovels which were then distributed to a number of institutions for adults and children to participate in the action of planing 1527 trees.

reyes’ received more than 6000 weapons to create his orchestra image © designboom

 

 

 

his most recent project ‘imagine’ is a set of 50 musical instruments also fabricated out of a variety of firearms including revolvers, shot-guns, machine guns etc. commissioned by alumnos 47. the undertaking developed from a simple phone call that reyes received from he government who had learned about palas por pistolas and informed the artist that there would be a public destruction of weapons taking place in ciudad juarez. they asked him if he wanted to keep the discarded metal which would otherwise be buried. armed with 6700 pieces, over the course of two weeks, working together with six musicians, he transformed the confiscated guns into a fully functioning orchestra which include a flute, guitar and drum kit.

 

 

the objects of musical destruction are on display as part of the ‘adhocracy’ exhibition, curated by joseph grima at the istanbul design biennial 2012.

image © designboom

image © designboom

magazines from various firearms image © designboom

 

hat cymbal made from the discarded metal

 

a xylophone made from barrels image © designboom

 

installation view of pedro reyes’ instruments image © designboom

 

an interpreted version of the triangle image © designboom

 

image © designboom

 

string instruments and bows

 

alternative exhibition view of the instruments which include cymbals, violins and guitar

 

a concert played using the musical instruments made from weapons video courtesy of pedro reyes

 

 


the making of the instruments
video courtesy of pedro reyes

 

production of the instruments photo by david franco for 192 courtesy of pedro reyes

 

testing out the flute photo by david franco for 192 courtesy of pedro reyes

lyre photo by david franco for 192 courtesy of pedro reyes

 

guitar and banjo photo by david franco for 192 courtesy of pedro reyes

 

photo by david franco for 192 courtesy of pedro reyes

 


weapons undergoing mass destruction before being transformed into objects of social engagement
video courtesy of pedro reyes

 

 

 

project info:

 

pedro reyes, ‘imagine’, 2012 commissioned and produced by alumnos47 curated by jessica berlanga taylor for alumnos47 coordination and production: emiliano garcía and marcelo rangel valenzuela coordination and musical direction: jazmín zepeda music and instrument designers: omar córdova, adrián lópez, alonso lópez, josé mena, leika mochan, daniel zepeda blacksmiths: antonio garcía salinas and arturo quiroz

 

 

istanbul design biennial october 13th – december 12th, 2012

with the aim of underlining the importance of design for production, economy, cultural interaction and quality of life, the first istanbul design biennial will be realized in 2012 by istanbul foundation for culture and arts. istanbul design biennial will be open to all disciplines of the creative industries in major fields such as urban design, architecture, interior design, industrial design, graphic design, new media design and fashion design, as well as their subfields.

  • Maybe he can supply the Juarez Orchestra. They would get a lot of funeral bookings. Sick.

    jim C. says:
  • It reminds me what in 2003 the colombian musician cesar lopez made with his “escopetarra” project. very clever… it combines duchamp´s geniality and a naivley perspective of the colombian conflict. his work is like a master piece disposed in museums like damian´s hirst, and his fellow supporters would might be the onu, juanes and shakira… genioss!

    Yorchdelaselva says:
  • Ah, yes, Cesar Lopez, he plagiarized this instrument from jamaican singer Peter Tosh. What I don\’t like about Cesar Lopez is that he never acknowledges that he is a plagiarist, and always shows the idea as his own.

    Here is Peter Tosh in his last concert in 1983 fighting with his music and his rifle-guitar to abolish apartheid in South Africa to achieve peace in that country at that time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnLzbBqPSbM

    Robert P. says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

design news