Lisson Gallery

MAAT in Lisbon celebrates tenth anniversary of Pedro Reyes' 'SANATORIUM' with new installation

19 May 2021

The Museum of Art, Architecture & Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon, Portugal, today opens a new presentation of Pedro Reyes performative installation SANATORIUM. Originally shown at the Guggenheim in New York in 2011, the work takes the form of a temporary clinic for which Reyes developed a series of therapies, incorporating techniques from theatre, Gestalt psychology, flow state, group activities and trust-building games, corporate coaching, psychodrama, hypnosis, and popular culture.

Conducted by non-professional, ordinary people, the placebo treatments that make up the project are spaces for encounter and dialogue around some of the most pertinent issues of our time, presenting life-stories and narratives which aim to cure the maladies and diseases associated with contemporary life – in particular the effects of daily life in urban centres on our mental and physical wellbeing. Through SANATORIUM, Reyes aims to create a space of freedom, but also of catharsis, personal transformation and introspection.

In this iteration of SANATORIUM, visitors will be able to experience a total of nine therapies including The Museum of Hypothetical Lifetimes, Citileaks, Vaccine against Violence, Philosophical Casino and two new therpaies presented for the first time, one of which is online. In The Museum of Hypothetical Lifetimes, the “patient” sees their entire life as an exhibition, from the cradle to the grave, looking both prospectively and retrospectively at their past, present and future. Visitors are invited to illustrate each area of their lives through small objects and figures selected by them and arranged on a scale model. In Citileaks, participants are asked to write down their most intimate secret and place it inside a bottle, in turn selecting someone else's secre to read.

Speaking with the exhibition's curator, Inês Grosso, Reyes says:

"During the pandemic, people faced a change in rhythm; most people were very lonely, which is not necessarily bad. It’s good to have time for oneself, and I believe there is a lot of introspection that can only happen if you slow down. But now, after confinement, people are eager for encounter, so SANATORIUM provides a place for this. Not only to be heard but also to hear. One of the tenets of SANATORIUM is: if you want to heal, start healing others. It’s very nice to be helped, but even more rewarding to help others. What goes around comes around. So being useful to someone else is one of the most satisfying experiences one can have, which is exactly one of the things that happen at SANATORIUM."

Find further information via MAAT.

Installation photography courtesy MAAT. Photo by Vasco Vilhena.

MAAT in Lisbon celebrates tenth anniversary of Pedro Reyes' 'SANATORIUM' with new installation
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