pedro reyes: rompecabezas pedro reyes: rompecabezas
apr 18, 2012

pedro reyes: rompecabezas

mano-silla image © designboom pedro reyes: rompecabezas labor, mexico city april16 – jun 16, 2012

pedro reyes gave designboom a tour of his latest show at the new labor space.

rompecabezas (puzzle or jigsaw) brings together a series of new works where the architecture of narrative structures is combined with anthropological methodologies of classification. the exhibition also includes ‘the museum of hypothetical lifetimes’ which was first exhibited at the sanatorium last year.

‘the show is called ‘rompecabezas’ because most of the pieces deal with breaking down mythologies or anthropology into smaller components and then re-configuring them, re-shaping them with our imagination.’ – pedro reyes

mano-sillas, 2012 image © designboom

mano-sillas (hand-chairs) a new development on the intersection of sculpture and design that reyes has explored in the past. each set consists of a left and a right hand with articulated fingers that allow the user to create gestures and further explore the configurations of non-verbal language.

PR: I took the well known design of pedro friedeberg and developed it a little to make it interactive. as well as being functional and comfortable you can use it to communicate to the people you live with.

mano-sillas in various configurations images © designboom

mano-silla image © designboom

view of the exhibition image © designboom

mutantes, 2012 photo by isaac contreras

mutantes (mutants) a polyptych composed of 170 plates combining figures from ancient and modern mythologies.

similar to a periodic table, the origin of myths is organized by an axis in which animals and objects are

combined with humans (male or female), providing a rational framework for the irrational products

of human imagination.

mutantes image © designboom

PR: with this piece I wanted to make a rational framework for irrational parts of the imagination.

so what you have is an element in the central row; things like materials or animals.

then the row above is a woman – and above that is what you get if you cross those two things,

for instance a cat and a woman makes ‘catwoman’. below the row of elements is man and below

that what you get if you fuse the element with a man for example stone plus the man equals ‘the thing’.

so it works in this way; fish + woman = mermaid bull + man =  minotaur and so on.

the fun part is that you end up juxtaposing figures from pop culture with those from ancient myths and

you can notice similarities between religious icons and comic book characters. all these ‘mutants’

reveal something about our desire to extract the qualities from animals or objects and empower

ourselves with them.

DB: do you think you will add to this piece – it seems like something which could grow?

PR: well, it’s certainly something that could go on and on, it’s like picasso said,

‘you never finish a work you abandon it.’ so for me this is it.

  detail of mutantes image © designboom

detail of mutantes image © designboom

detail of mutantes image © designboom

detail of mutantes image © designboom

view of the exhibition image © designboom

como perderle el miedo a la pintura, 2012 image © designboom

como perderle el miedo a la pintura (how to overcome your fear of painting) 20 pictures presented has been subject to a different operation. reyes has approached painting with his own means calling them ‘flat sculptures’. literally, the statue has lost one of its dimensions, only to recover its depth in the potential permutations of its bi-dimentional cluster. an analogy akin to the phrase luis cardoza y aragon used in pintura contemporanea de mexico (1950) to describe art criticism: ‘…the venus de milo holding the head of the victory of samothrace in her hands’.

PR: a picture is a kind of ‘self contained universe’. the point is not about using paint it’s about creating an image, whatever medium you choose to use. for that reason I like that gilbert and george call their works ‘pictures’ not paintings.

so these are experiments using images from the book ‘the imaginary museum of world sculpture’ by andré malraux. each statue image is treated in a different way; scaling, repetition, layering, cutting and re-configuration. they are mostly to do with spatial changes or the manipulation of one of their four dimensions (line, area, volume, time) so even though they are flat – they are flat images of 3D objects that have been altered or can be altered… some have time but no volume others you can interact with like the discobolus and another where the face can be covered or uncovered.  one of the pieces ha a rorschach print overlaid which again is 2D but the ink-blot print is a product of a spacial operation; folding and unfolding paper. como perderle el miedo a la pintura image © designboom

como perderle el miedo a la pintura image © designboom

como perderle el miedo a la pintura image © designboom

como perderle el miedo a la pintura image © designboom

como perderle el miedo a la pintura image © designboom

como perderle el miedo a la pintura image © designboom

detail of como perderle el miedo a la pintura image © designboom

como perderle el miedo a la pintura image © designboom

como perderle el miedo a la pintura image © designboom

como perderle el miedo a la pintura image © designboom

como perderle el miedo a la pintura image © designboom

detail of como perderle el miedo a la pintura image © designboom

pico della mitandola, 2012 photo by isaac contreras

pico della mitandola a volcanic stone sculpture has various holes in which one can insert additional stone carvings of eyes, noses, hair, mouths, and other body parts of various cultural and periodic styles. the sculpture thus becomes a kind of puzzle that continuously changes form depending on the various interactions with the public.

this work is based on a passage from the italian renaissance philosopher who in the ‘oration on the dignity of man’ (1486) articulates the concept of man, he says, ‘all creatures are brought into the world completed. except for man who was left unfinished: you will be able to make out of yourself what you will. if you wish to be like the beasts, you will be a beast; if you wish to be like the angels, you will be like an angel. no specific form or function has been assigned to you.’

PR: I chose to use stone for this sculpture and reference facial parts of sculptures from different styles of statues – so one mouth is pre-hispanic in style something like you might see used in aztec statues while another mouth is closer to something you’d see in european art from the renaissance, and the same goes for the eyes, nose and ears.

its very primitive but the viewer can touch and interact with, which most stone sculptures don’t allow.

DB: were you tempted to make the central form, the ‘head’ closer to the actual form of a head? PR: the truth is I ordered a stone that was 1.5 tonnes and this stone was delivered to me and so I just cut the bottom so it was flat and raised it to the height I wanted and suggest a neck. then it was a case of cutting the holes in the places I thought had the best potential. I really have no idea of what a certain combination could look like or should look like, every time you see it or it’s photographed it will look different. pico della mitandola image © designboom

pico della mitandola image © designboom

pico della mitandola image © designboom

pico della mitandola image © designboom

pico della mitandola image © designboom

pico della mitandola image © designboom

pico della mitandola image © designboom

pico della mitandola image © designboom

pedro reyes portrait © designboom

museum of hypothetical lifetimes, 2011 photo by isaac contreras

museum of hypothetical lifetimes a model for a museum whose floor plan includes galleries and corridors that correspond to different moments in the life of a person. in this activity, the participant can choose from a collection of miniature objects with different meanings that are then placed in rooms organized from birth to death. school, work, relationships, etc., become themed galleries that display the objects selected by the participant in the same way that curators plan their exhibitions; at once prospective and retrospective of their own existence.

museum of hypothetical lifetimes image © designboom

museum of hypothetical lifetimes image © designboom

museum of hypothetical lifetimes image © designboom

objects from the museum of hypothetical lifetimes image © designboom

breakdown of the museum of hypothetical lifetimes image © designboom

the museum of hypothetical lifetimes will be in operation at dOCUMENTA (13) this summer as part of

the sanatorium offering therapy for 100 days.

  • The chair and the puzzle statue are cool, wil the chairs be on sale?

    Hannah says:
  • It seems not comfortable to sit on it, is it a decor or work of art?

    Henry Zhang says:
  • @Henry Zhang
    yes they can be used as furniture,
    I sat in the chairs and they are comfortable.

    andy db says:

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