Hobson’s Choice – Pedro Reyes at Lisson Gallery

5 April 2013 By

26 March – 4 May 2013

Lisson Gallery, 29 Bell Street, London NW1 5BY


Open Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm and Saturday 11am – 5pm


Hobson’s Choice has a Mexican flavour this week – I’m currently in Mexico leading a Contemporary Art Society group! – so it is fitting that this week’s recommended show is Pedro Reyes’s Disarm exhibition at the Lisson Gallery, which I managed to see just before I left London.  The Mexican artist has taken hundreds of guns seized by the government in the city of Ciudad Juarez in the North of Mexico, and transformed them into sculptural musical instruments that are installed throughout the gallery, alongside collages where machines of war and musical instruments are combined.  The artist views the installation as a gesture: `it is important to consider that many lives were taken with these weapons and when they were played the music expelled the demons they held, as well as being a requiem for lives lost’.  Mexican artists often use their work to draw attention to the violence and murder created by drug warfare in the country – think of Teresa Margoles’s extraordinary practice using blood from crime scenes and infused water from Mexican morgues.  Reyes’ intervention demonstrates how the artist can affect societal transformation, both drawing attention to and then transforming violence into beauty.  A powerful show.