Pablo Helguera (14/09/12)

September 14, 2012
A group of 20 people stand in a courtyard in front of a pop-up yellow tent-like structure in the shape of a traditional one-room schoolhouse.

The School of Panamerican Unrest, Pablo Helguera, 2006.

Join us for this special Friday night edition of the Big Ideas Lecture Series with Pablo Helguera in downtown Guelph. Helguera will discuss his socially engaged artistic projects such as The School of Panamerican Unrest (, a nomadic think-tank that generated connections between the different regions of the Americas through discussions, performances, screenings, and short-term and long-term collaborations between organizations and individuals. This hybrid project included a mobile schoolhouse and a video archive, which crossed the continent by car from Anchorage, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, making 40 stops in between. Covering almost 20,000 miles, it is considered one of the most extensive public art projects on record. Helguera is the inaugural winner of the International Award for Participatory Art of the Emilia Romagna Region in Italy. The award is dedicated to artists with an outstanding experience in participatory art projects. More…

Through novel-writing, play-writing, and the publication of manuals and guides such as The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style, Helguera makes ideas accessible and mobilizes theory as a practical tool for everyone, rather than an elitist gateway open only to a few. A versatile contributor to the field of socially engaged art, he will discuss how he works with publics by circulating ideas outside galleries using humour, historical examples, and a breadth of approaches.

Pablo Helguera (Mexico City, 1971) is a New York based artist working with installation, sculpture, photography, drawing, socially engaged art and performance. His work focuses in a variety of topics ranging from history, pedagogy, sociolinguistics, ethnography, memory and the absurd, in formats that are widely varied including the lecture, museum display strategies, musical performances and written fiction. His work as an educator intersects with his interests as an artist, and integrates issues of interpretation, dialogue, and the role of contemporary culture in a global reality. Since 2007, he is Director of Adult and Academic programs at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. To find out more about Pablo Helguera, visit