Stillspotting NYC: Restoring the City’s Sanity, Starting with Brooklyn


To put up with the stress and sensory overload that is life in New York, we all have our own coping mechanisms. For some it’s tuning out the city with earbuds, for others escape is a serious practice like yoga, meditation, or therapy. The options for treatment here are endless, a fact artist Pedro Reyes brings to life in his newest installation, Sanatorium.

Reyes’s temporary clinic—which opens next week in Downtown Brooklyn—is the first edition in the Guggenheim’s new series of site-specific works called stillspotting nyc. This multidisciplinary project of the museum’s Architecture and Urban Studies program asks architects, artists, designers, composers and philosophers to explore the notion of peace in our hyperactive city and to create fleeting moments of tranquility. Each stillspotting installation, tour or event will pop up around the boroughs for the next two years; we’re lucky that Reyes is kicking it off at 1 Metrotech the first two weekends in June.

The Mexican artist has used art to heal urban environments once before: in 2008 he collected guns from Mexico’s violent city of Culiacán and remade them into shovels that were used to plant trees in cities around the world. At Sanatorium, which is open June 2-5 and June 9-12, he’ll offer a menu of short, unexpected therapies that borrow from Gestalt psychology, theater warm-up exercises, Fluxus events, conflict resolution techniques, trust-building games, corporate coaching, psychodrama, and hypnosis. During each two-hour visit, you can experience up to three sessions from a roster of over 15, and meet a series of fascinating therapy professionals.

There are group therapy sessions for couples and families. Experimental treatments that Reyes developed such as Ex-Voto, which encourages individuals to give thanks for a blessing that an artist then turns into a small painting. And to help solve life’s mysteries, you can pose questions to Greek philosophers in Philosophical Casino.

Considering the limited hours for Sanatorium, and the millions of New Yorkers who need to decompress, only advance tickets are available. The hours for Sanatorium, located at the storefront level of 1 Metrotech Center with an entrance at 345 Jay Street, in Downtown Brooklyn, are Thursdays, June 2 and 9, 2–10 pm; Fridays, June 3 and 10, 2–10 pm; Saturdays, June 4 and 11, 10 am–10 pm; and Sundays, June 5 and 12, 10 am–10 pm.

When you visit, you can engage in three therapy sessions from a roster of over 15, with registration times offered every two hours on site. On Sundays, June 5 and 12, special sessions will be offered for families, with complimentary admission for two children (12 and under) per ticket, which are only available in advance. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for members; a 10% discount is offered to groups of 10 or more. To learn more about sessions, find directions, and purchase tickets, visit

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