(b. 1972, Mexico City, Mexico)
Pedro Reyes' approach to art is both visionary and playful. His projects combine problem solving with social activism and have involved a plan for converting a defunct Modernist housing complex into a high-rise urban farm; creating a temporary clinic providing 'speed therapy' (as in 'speed dating') to help heal the afflictions of urban life; and an international tree-planting programme, using shovels made from melted-down handguns. Trained as an architect, he is intent on improving the urban environment in a hands-on, pragmatic way. He is especially interested the psychosociologist Jacob L. Moreno's idea of 'sociatry', which he explains as 'the art and science of healing society'. Another influence has been the philosopher and mathematician Antanas Mockus, who during his time as mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, created inspirational social strategies, involving humour, games, and theatrical stunts, that dramatically improved urban life. Talking about art museums, which he thinks of as fridges that preserve objects for posterity, Reyes says: 'I'm more interested in using the cultural institution as an oven, where you cook new realities.'
Pedro Reyes leads a workshop of group activities and games designed as mental warm-up exercises.
These range from The Great Game of Power, in which participants arrange objects in order of power in relation to one another; to Social Atom, where the group creates configurations of 'human molecules'.
Concessions: 50% off limited availability
10 July: Hayward Gallery Lecture Theatre
11 July: Hayward Gallery Classroom 1
Duration: 3 hours