(b. Quito, 1971), lives and works in Paris.
Santiago Reyes has mainly worked in Paris, but he has taken part in numerous exhibitions and art events in Europe, the Americas and Asia. His work deals with body-centered poetics, the appropriation of public and institutional spaces and relational art practices. His renewed approach to performance deserves special mention, however, since it is a means of expression to which he often resorts, and that runs through much of his work. His main interests include questioning the relationships between the individual and culture, the porous borders that separate the public from the private, the fleeting nature of human relationships, the mutability of our sense of origin and belonging, and an acute awareness of temporality, mobility and displacement. In terms of subject matter, his work tends to make references to intimate experiences and personal memories, which he projects to form a dialogue with the social space through staging strategies that imbue his work with an overtly theatrical approach (hence his regular use of a podium or a platform, frontal presentation, transfiguring the exhibition space into a medium for representation, resorting to stereotypes and consensual symbols, etc.).
In 2007 Reyes was invited to take part in the Cuenca International Biennial (Ecuador) with a piece designed to be exhibited on a public fence. However, the work, Sin Título (Eric et moi dormant -- Untitled, Eric and I Sleeping) was forbidden to be shown by the city authorities on the grounds of "immorality." The many reactions to this act of censorship brought to light the lack of consistency between the political apparatus, cultural institutions, socio-cultural development and art practice in Ecuador. The work quickly took on emblematic status in the debate on sexual rights and cultural diversity.
His most recent solo exhibitions include the following: La Planck, Galeria Air de Paris, Paris (2008); Galería DPM, Guayaquil (2007); H Films, Milan (2006); Galeria site Odeon 5, Paris (2005); Dialogue, Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain Languedoc-Roussillon, Séte; Programme, Galerie de l’Ecole des Beaux Arts de Valence; Galerie Georges Verney-Carron, Lyon. He has taken part in several international collective shows, among them: Ninth Cuenca Biennial, Ecuador (2007); La Force de l’art (The Force of Art), Grand Palais, Paris (2006); Anatopias, Centro de Arte LAIT, Albi (2005); Nuit Blanche (White Night), Paris (2004) ; Rendez-vous, Galerie des Terreaux, Lyon ; Localismos (Localisms), Mexico (2004) ; Ficciones Documentales (Documentary Fictions), Caixa Forum , Barcelona (2004); and Ici et Ailleurs (Here and Elsewhere), Umjetnicka Museum, Dubrovnik, Croatia (2003).
In April 2008 Santiago Reyes was interviewed by Alexis Moreano Banda. The central topic was the unusual fate of this work, which has yet to be exhibited. Alexis (b. Quito) is an art and film critic who lives in Paris.