top of page

By Pedro Reyes


Work produced for MAAT

Exhibition Design, Graphic Design

SANATORIUM is a performative installation in the form of a temporary clinic that combines art and psychology. Created in 2011 for the Guggenheim Museum in New York, it has since been presented in different contexts and institutions, like the Whitechapel Gallery in London (2013) and dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel (2012). For this work, the artist 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. Conducted by non-professional the placebo treatments that make up this project are spaces for encounter and dialogue, presenting life-stories and narratives which aim to cure the maladies and diseases associated with contemporary life. Despite its playful and educational dimension, Reyes presents some of the most pertinent issues of our time: how daily life in great urban centres affects our health and quality of life, and other issues concerning our mental health and emotional, social and psychological well-being. On the tenth anniversary of the installation’s original exhibition, and in the year when the world is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, maat with the curatorship of Inês Grosso promotes the artist’s first presentation in Portugal by bringing a new version of this project to its space at Central Tejo.


In this project, I was challenged to develop the graphic identity and layout of the exhibition, in close collaboration with the curatorial team of Inês Grosso and artist Pedro Reyes, as well as create exhibition signage and print materials.

With that in mind, a minimalist and clean image was created to avoid distractions, promote focus, and evoke a sense of a clinical environment. At a time when mental health has been increasingly discussed, I realized that this issue can affect anyone, and sometimes we may have a friend or family member who needs help or a kind word, but we fail to notice. They continue to appear cheerful and smile as if nothing is happening.

Based on this concept, to complement the minimalist and rigorous design approach, the typeface "Prophet" was chosen. From a distance, Prophet appears to be a typical noun-serif font, but upon closer inspection, small fragments are missing from certain letters. Just like people, including those we care about and even ourselves, sometimes we need to take a moment, get closer, and observe these small details.


Artist: Pedro Reyes

Curatorship and coordination: Inês Grosso
Production: Ana Fryxell

Curatorial and pre-production support: Francisca Nabino

Graphic Design: João Turvo

Exhibition Design: Barbosa Mateus Arquitectos, João Turvo

Promotion support and in the operational management of therapies: Adriane Kamppf

Therapy consulting and support: Sascha Anna Vriend
Clinical Psychologist and Psycho-body Therapist
Technical Support: Versátil Partilha
Construction: J.C. Sampaio, Marques & Frederico

Translation and Proofreading: Gonçalo Gama Pinto, José Roseira, Colin Ginks
Graphic Production: Logotexto

Photography: Vasco Vilhena