Pax Atomica is a fullscale rendering of the Hiroshima bomb also known as Little Boy, transformed into a bird cage where a dove, symbolizing peace, is trapped. The title may conjure terms such as Pax Romana, Pax Britannica or Pax Americana, all used to describe long periods of apparent peace that, if reviewed closely, were only possible under ruthless imperialist domination. With this work Reyes hopes to challenge the common assumption that ‘there have not been world wars since nuclear bombs were first used.’ To the contrary: there have been and continue to be countless wars, precisely because of the arrogance that characterizes nuclear armed states.

Pedro Reyes’ work follows a double path, addressing art as both aesthetic research and social practice. The first is developed through sculpture, the second through conceptual and participatory strategies. In 2008, Reyes initiated the ongoing Palas por pistolas project, in which 1,527 guns were melted unto shovels to plant 1,527 trees. This led to Disarm (2012) and the transformation of 6,700 destroyed guns into musical instruments. Reyes has held visiting faculty positions at Bard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2022, Reyes held three survey shows: Escultura social at the MARCO Museum in Monterrey, Sociatry at the Marta Herford Museum in Germany and Direct Action at SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Organized by Estudio Pedro Reyes
in collaboration with ICAN

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB is an exhibition of posters that call for universal nuclear disarmament. Each made by a different artist, the group comprises historical and newly
commissioned works that detail a cultural history of disarmament movements and evidence the diversity of ways in which artists have expressed the need to ban the bomb. ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB is designed for maximum agility and economic effectiveness, relying on a black and white palette both for its impact and ease o reproduction. We asked artists to ensure their works can exist on a variety of supports, ephemera such as posters, postcards, billboards, banners, flags, t-shirts and social media posts, as we aspire to achieve the widest possible circulation of this message.

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB presents the works of foundational conceptual artists Art & Language; pop hero, Keith Haring; legendary feminists, Guerrilla Girls; performance artists Regina José Galindo and Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, as well
as eminent sculptors Magdalena Abakanowicz and Isamu Noguchi. It also features indelible photographs by Robert Del Tredici and Ken Domon alongside protest graphics from social movements such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), founded in 1958 and still active; the epic Peace Squadron and Visual Artists Against Nuclear Arms (VAANA); and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Additionally, it examines how stories are told, from the theater of Bread and Puppet to films like Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and Marguerite Duras / Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour, to an unexpected survey of literature, from an early
anticipation of an atomic bomb, first envisioned by H.G. Wells in 1918, to the viscera spoken word poetry of Jayne Cortez.

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB, organized by Estudio Pedro Reyes in collaboration with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), is presented on the occasion of the Second Meeting of State Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) held at the United Nations in 2023.

To organize en exhibition of ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB please contact curatorial assistant Verana Codina.

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