Hammer Museum

Hammer Projects: Pedro Reyes

31 Jan - 24 May 2015

Exhibition view
31 January - 24 May 2015

Mexican artist Pedro Reyes’s project The People’s United Nations (pUN) is both an exhibition and an event that puts the diplomatic and global problem-solving goals of the United Nations in the hands of ordinary people. Originally staged at the Queens Museum of Art, Reyes’s Hammer Project will include a group of sculptures—including Drone Dove and Colloquium—and several paintings on Tyvek that graphically portray political, social, and environmental issues being faced by our world today. The works reflect the underlying goals of peace and dialogue proposed by the project.

The pUN General Assembly (May 2–3, 2015) was an experimental gathering of volunteer citizen-delegates from as many of the 195 member and observer states of the United Nations as possible. Unlike the real United Nations, where delegates are appointed by states and are career diplomats, the people’s UN enlists regular citizens who live in the Los Angeles area and are connected by family ties or by birth to the nations represented at the UN.

Participants engaged in activities in the Hammer’s courtyard that tested Reyes’s hypothesis that conflict-resolution techniques used in social psychology, theater, and art can help solve the world’s most challenging problems, from climate change, to fair wages for women, to food shortages. Over the course of two days, this group used theater games, group therapy, and techniques from social science to grapple with a set of urgent and sometimes unexpected proposals. Playfulness, humor, and experimentation are strategies that allow for creative solutions and imagining a better future.

Hammer Projects: Pedro Reyes is organized by senior curator Anne Ellegood and MacKenzie Stevens, curatorial assistant. The People's United Nations (pUN) General Assembly is organized in collaboration with Allison Agsten, curator, Public Engagement, and January Parkos Arnall, curatorial assistant, Public Engagement. The pUN delegates are researched and coordinated by curatorial project consultant Carolina Guillermet. First conceived and presented at the Queens Museum in 2013, whose building was the site of the United Nations from 1946-1950.
Hammer Projects: Pedro Reyes is supported by Bettina Korek and Alexandra Shabtai.

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