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Dean’s Seminar Series to Welcome Artist Pedro Reyes

The seminar will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 18


There is something haunting about Pedro Reyes’s handmade musical instruments. The brain first recognizes one piece as a guitar before realizing that it is, in fact, a guitar made out of old and rusted guns.

As part of the Northwestern Engineering Dean’s Seminar Series, Reyes will visit campus next week to discuss his work as the inaugural Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He will also discuss his projects, including his 2012 piece Disarm, in which he reverse-engineered 6,700 confiscated firearms into a collection of working musical instruments.

Presented in partnership with the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, the seminar, called “What is the Use of Art?” will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 18 in the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center’s ITW Classroom.

A multi-platform artist, activist, and educator, Reyes creates interdisciplinary works of art, which integrate elements of theater, psychology, and activism. Addressing political and social issues, including gun control and drug trafficking, his work takes on a variety of forms, from penetrable sculptures (Capulas, 2002-08) to puppet productions (Baby Marx, 2008; The Permanent Revolution, 2014).

Reyes has exhibited his art in many museums and galleries around the globe, including at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Centre Pompidou in Paris, National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome, Whitechapel Gallery in London, and the San Francisco Art Institute.