Pedro Reyes: SANATORIUM 

Interview with Inês Grosso 


"During the pandemic, the world became increasingly digital. It had to be done, and museums themselves were forced to create and provide alternatives in terms of programming and issues that had to be discussed, debated, and our lives revolve a lot around technology, the virtual world. SANATORIUM is the complete opposite of that." 

— Inês Grosso

Pedro Reyes, Sanatorium, maat, 2021

View of SANATORIUM by Pedro Reyes at maat (19/05 – 20/09/2021). Photography: Vasco Vilhena, courtesy of the artist and EDP Foundation / maat. 



Inês Grosso is a Portuguese curator and writer based in Lisbon, working at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology since 2015, where she’s been organising numerous shows, including Gabriel Abrantes. Programmed Melancholy (2020), João Pedro Vale and Nuno Alexandre Ferreira. Loving as the road begins (2019), Grada Kilomba. Secrets to Tell (2018), and more recently (2020), Um oásis ao entardecer. 20th Anniversary of the EDP Foundation Awards, with Rosa Lleó. Before this, Grosso integrated the curatorial team of Instituto Inhotim (Minas Gerais), where she co-curated “From Object To World - Inhotim Collection”, the first large traveling exhibition of the collection. From September 2021, Inês Grosso takes up the position of Chief Curator at the Serralves Museum.




On the occasion of the new presentation of Pedro Reyes performative installation SANATORIUM, originally shown at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2011, Inês Grosso, the exhibition’s curator at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (maat), in Lisbon, shares her thoughts about the work that takes the form of a temporary clinic for which Reyes developed a series of therapies, incorporating techniques from theatre, Gestalt psychology, flow state, group activities and trust-building games, corporate coaching, psychodrama, hypnosis, and popular culture.

Pedro Reyes studied architecture but considers himself a sculptor, although his works integrate elements of theatre, psychology and activism. His work takes on a great variety of forms, from penetrable sculptures to puppet productions. In 2008, Reyes initiated the ongoing “Palas por Pistolas” where 1,527 guns were collected in Mexico through a voluntary donation campaign to produce the same number of shovels to plant 1,527 trees. This led to “Disarm” (2012), where 6,700 destroyed weapons were transformed into a series of musical instruments. Recently, Pedro Reyes was commissioned by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to raise awareness about the increasing risk of nuclear conflict, for which he developed Amnésia Atómica to be presented at Times Square in August 2021 alongside the Non-Proliferation Treaty Conference at the United Nations. For his work on disarmament, Reyes was granted the Luxembourg Peace Prize in 2021.



In 2011, Pedro Reyes initiated SANATORIUM , a transient clinic that provides short unexpected treatments mixing art and psychology. Originally commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, "SANATORIUM" has been in operation at Documenta 13, Kassel (2012), Whitechapel Gallery, London (2013), and OCA, São Paulo (2015) among others. On the tenth anniversary of this project, a new version of it is presented at maat (19/05 – 20/09/2021), in the gallery space of Central. In this iteration of SANATORIUM, visitors are able to engage in a total of nine therapies, including “Mirroring”, a new outdoor therapy, and Compatibility Test for Couples, an online one, both specially conceived for this occasion.