GARAGE caught up with Pedro Reyes before the opening of his latest exhibition in London, titled 'Glyptotek'.
GARAGE: Why did you name this show Glyptotek?
Pedro Reyes: It’s a term used – though not very commonly – to refer to a gallery of rocks or sculptures. Then you have a pinatotek, which is a museum devoted to painting. Because the show has only sculpture, and is somewhat connected to the history of sculpture, it was a perfect name!
GARAGE: You work with many different media, each of which carries a layer of meaning. What are you aiming to convey here?
Pedro Reyes: In sculpture, form is meaning. That’s a liberating thing. It’s not that sculpture is the illustration of an idea, but rather that the formal aspects of a work make up the experience of it and the meaning within it. Seer (2018), for example, uses the motif of the jaguar lips from the Olmec civilization, the oldest in the American continent. That motif is five thousand years old, and here it’s meant to represent synesthesia. So for me, this two-part sculptures represent opposites. An eye coming out of a mouth and a tongue coming out of an eye—it’s a trippy work and references a mixture of mythologies. These works are also my comment on the need for a change in policy to hasten the end of the failed war on drugs in Mexico. At the moment, for every life saved by the war on drugs, twelve people die.