It’s funny how, without planning, a theme for a number of different, but related, exhibitions comes together at one time. This spring it is the relationship with Greece, both in Britain and also in the USA and Mexico with exhibitions including ‘The Classical Now’ at King’s College London, ‘Charmed Lives in Greece’ at the British Museum, Greek artist Kalliopi Lemos at Gazelli Art House and, now, Mexican artist Pedro Reyes with his modern interpretation of the classical sculpture gallery or glyptotek in which to display classical sculptures.
As you enter, there are two sentries at the door, but these are not guards, they are protestors, from where you weave in and out different sculptures, some having hints of classical sculpture, some modern and some unashamedly Mexican. There are links with science (and by coincidence to King’s College London’s contribution to the discovery of DNA) with a sculpture of a double helix.
On the wall are reliefs, but these are not from an ancient Greek temple – there are computer keyboards, telephone dials and other modern images here, all in white as if they had been taken off a 21st century Parthenon. If the Greeks had had this modern technology, no doubt they would have celebrated it in their sculpture.
Pedro Reyes is quite a radical and seeks to address social and political issues through his work. He has famously worked with authorities in Mexico to melt down guns and turn them into shovels to plant trees across the world and to transform 6,700 guns which had been confiscated into musical instruments on an automaton loop – turning items of violence into something of culture and pleasure, but which go round and round and never break free to create a new world.