Pablo Helguera

In a methodical way and recurring to strategies connected to the baroque fugue and ars combinatoria (combinatory art), Pablo Helguera (Mexico City, 1971) often draws improbable relationships between human histories, biographies, anecdotes and historical events, always bringing them all together in a cohesive whole and making all serve as a reflection on our current relationship with art as a society. Helguera often focuses on history, pedagogy, sociolinguistics and anthropology in formats such as lectures, museum displays, performance and written fiction. His project The School of Panamerican Unrest (2003-2011), an early example of pedagogically-focused socially engaged art, consisted in a nomadic think-tank, physically crossed the continent by car from Anchorage to Tierra del Fuego. He has exhibited widely internationally (MoMA, Havana Biennial, Performa, Reina Sofia, amongst many others) and has been recipient of the Guggenheim, Franklin Furnace and Blade of Grass Fellowships and the Creative Capital and Art Matters grants. He was the first recipient of the International Award of Participatory Art of the Emilia Romagna Region in Italy. His book Education for Socially Engaged Art, (2011), a primer for social practice has quickly become adopted as a main textbook for art schools and university programs internationally. He is also author of several other books including The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style, Theatrum Anatomicum (and other performance lectures), What in the World, and Art Scenes: The Social Scripts of the Art World, a book on the sociology of contemporary art. In 2013 he launched the project Librería Donceles, consisting in creating the only Spanish used bookstore in New York, a non-profit project intended to draw attention to the perceptions of Latin American culture in the U.S. Recently in Phoenix, and currently in San Francisco, the bookstore will return to Brooklyn in 2015. His current project Nuevo Romancero Nuevomejicano for Site Santa Fe, New Mexico consists in a performance and series of exhibitions about the history of the Mexican Period of New Mexico using extant music and historical documents.