Pedro Reyes. Return to Sender / Museum Tinguely, Basel

Transforming swords into ploughshares – or guns into musical instruments, to be precise – that’s what the Mexican artist Pedro Reyes does in his current solo exhibition at Museum Tinguely in Basel (Switzerland). Entitled “Return to Sender” the show presents three music boxes for which he has repurposed gun parts: Disarm Music Box (Glock/Mozart), Disarm Music Box (Beretta/Vivaldi), and Disarm Music Box (Karabiner/Matter). These new works perform fragments of tunes from composers from the countries where the guns were produced. The exhibition also features the installation Disarm (Mechanized) II (2014). This artwork plays percussive music pieces in a mechanized and automated way.

Pedro Reyes was born in 1972 in Mexico City. Reyes attracted international attention in 2007 with his project Palas por Pistolas, for which he worked with the local authorities of Culiacán, Mexico, to exchange weapons from the local population for coupons to purchase domestic appliances and electronics, melt these weapons down, and recast them into 1,527 shovels to plant trees. In connection with Pedro Reyes’ exhibition at Museum Tinguely, this planting is being continued with the planting of a new chestnut tree directly in front of the museum entrance.

Pedro Reyes. Return to Sender / Museum Tinguely. Basel (Switzerland), July 21, 2020.

00:00 Disarm Music Box (Glock/Mozart) (2020) 00:28 Disarm Music Box (Beretta/Vivaldi) (2020) 01:28 Disarm Music Box (Karabiner/Matter) (2020) 02:52 Disarm (Mechanized) II (2014)

–– Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

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