My name is Pedro Tyler, and I am a sculptor from Chile and Uruguay. I work with drawings, assemblage, performances, or installations. I break, bend, melt, grind, or simply rearrange a set of ordinary objects. Rulers, bullets, lightbulbs, coins are the medium I choose to speak about the immaterial in life.
I have been showing my works for over 20 years in galleries and institutions across the Americas and Europe. My work is part of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston collection, MANA collection in New York, USA; Galilas POC Brussels in Belgium; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Bogota, Museo de Arte del Tolima in Colombia. Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. Museo Juan Manuel Blanes and Espacio de Arte Contemporaneo Montevideo, Uruguay.
I am currently working on the exhibition “Kindness” opening this year. It consists of a series of drawings made with bullets on discarded furniture. In “The last one”, I drew photos of children playing on battered chairs. These are what survived from a library that protesters set on fire during the 2019 riots in Chile. How many times have people burnt books? Drawing images of kids playing at times of war and peace tell us of human beings' innate capacity for violence or goodness. The importance of, amongst other things, play, imagination, and history.
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Deserted beaches and trespassing over gardens and rooftops were the battlegrounds for my childhood games. I sneaked into my father's workshop to make swords and pistols with his tools, as my mother was against toy guns. I think that is the reason why I am captivated by tools, guns, and their history. The idea that people can use a tool as a weapon or vice-versa has also influenced my art—the fascination of using something for other than its intended purpose.
“Kindness” is a group of works I am currently producing, which will be displayed inside a late-1800 empty church in Chile later this year. Along the nave, a line of broken chairs marks the way to the chancel where a foldable screen made with doors hinged together stands open. Over the surface of all these objects, viewers will see images of children playing games. Using bullets as pencils, I have revisited the traditional silverpoint technique to draw kids playing during times of war and peace across the world. For me, this work is about the importance of playing and the power of imagination.
At times of sparkling conflicts, labelling and divisiveness across the world, it is important to revisit history and be aware of the dangers of reviving its most obscure moments. I believe the word of Johan Huizinga in his 1938 book Homo Ludens: “and where all trace of the play concept is extinguished, culture in its totality is withered.” But I rely upon the hope of knowing that children have always played regardless of circumstances.