Artist Pedro Reyes Introduces a Peace Art Project at Hammer Museum

Can a work of art solve world problems?  This is the goal of “The People’s United Nations (pUN),” a project by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes that will make up the upcoming “Hammer Projects: Pedro Reyes” at the Hammer Museum.

Reyes’s Hammer project is described by the Hammer Museum as “both an exhibition and an event that puts the diplomatic and global problem-solving goals of the United Nations in the hands of ordinary people.”  The exhibition component consists of a group of sculptures, including “Dove Drone” and “Colloquium,” as well as several paintings depicting political, social, and environmental issues facing our world today.  This exhibit will open January 31, the same day as “Hammer Projects: Maria Hassabi.”

“The works reflect the underlying goals of peace and dialogue proposed by the project,” says the Hammer Museum.

The event part of Reyes’s project, “The People’s United Nations,” will be a special delegate convening Feb. 1, 2015.  The pUN delegate will be an experimental gathering of local Los Angeles volunteers representing as many of the 195 member states of the United Nations as possible.  The volunteers are to be connected by family ties or birth to the nations they will be representing.

Over the course of two days, pUN participants will be participating in theater games, group discussions, and other playful, humorous exercises.  However, this event isn’t all about fun and games. Its purpose is to test Reyes’s hypothesis, which is conflict-resolution techniques used in social psychology, theater and art that can help solve the many serious world problems, such as climate change, pay equality, and food shortages.

Interested in being a pUN delegate?  Contact for more information.

Pedro Reyes was born in Mexico City and currently lives and works in Mexico.  Formally trained in architecture, Reyes co-founded an experimental art space in Mexico City, “Torre De Los Vientos” (1998-2002).  Previous projects of his include “Palas por Pistolas,” an art project/campaign that aimed to lessen violence in Mexico by curbing the trade of small weapons.  Participants were asked to exchange firearms for vouchers for small appliances.  The firearms were in turn melted and remolded into 1,527 gardening tools that were distributed to multiple art institutions and schools and used to plant trees.  The San Francisco Art Institute was one of the tree planting locations.

Hammer Projects: Pedro Reyes” will open Jan. 31, 2015 through May 24, 2015 at the Hammer Museum in Westwood.  

“The People’s United Nations” will convene Feb. 1, 2015.