PABLO HELGUERA joins narrative and the art of memory with hermeneutics, topology, divination, and chance in his performance installation The Seven Bridges of Königsberg at Forever & Today, Inc.
The Seven Bridges of Königsberg features a card game wherein he personally invites visitors to choose seven cards at will or by chance. Based on their choices, they may conduct a self-assessment of their personality type or engage in a dialogue with Helguera regarding what the selections say about themselves and their present state of mind. No single selection brings the same interpretation, and the system can be used to answer questions and formulate answers, whether of a personal or general nature. The title of the project is derived from a legendary 18th century mathematical problem that became the foundation of modern graph theory, involving the question of how to walk in a continuous line through the German city of Königsberg by crossing each of its seven bridges only once.
PABLO HELGUERA (Mexico City, 1971) is a New York-based artist whose multidisciplinary work often deals with topics such as history, social thought, perception, fiction, and pedagogy. His works, usually performative in nature, have included making phonograph recordings, composing orchestral pieces, inventing fictional artists and museums, founding educational and research institutions, and writing scripted symposia with actors. He has performed individually at MoMA, New York and Hirshhorn Museum, D.C., and has also had exhibitions or performances at RCA, London; Havana Biennial; PERFORMA 05, New York; MCA Chicago; ICA Boston; HAU, Berlin; the Trienal Poligrafica of San Juan, Puerto Rico; VIPER Festival, Basel; MUKHA, Antwerp; P.S.1 MoMA, New York; Sculpture Center, New York; Tenement Museum, New York; El Museo del Barrio, New York; among many others. Helguera is the author of four books: Endingness (2005); The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style (2005, Spanish edition; 2007, English edition); The Witches of Tepoztlán (and Other Unpublished Operas) (2007); and The Boy Inside the Letter (2008). Upcoming publications include Theatrum Anatomicum (and Other Performance Lectures). Helguera received a Creative Capital Grant for The School of Panamerican Unrest, a nomadic think-tank that traveled by car from Anchorage, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, covering 25,000 miles, which became the most physically extensive public art project on record. It is currently a traveling exhibition that will be presented at El Museo del Barrio, New York, in 2010. In 2008 he was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and his work has been reviewed by The New York Times, Artforum, Artnews, Art in America, Tema Celeste, ArtReview, The Guardian, and many others. Helguera is currently Director of Adult and Academic Programs of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
FOREVER & TODAY, INC. is a new, non-profit-oriented initiative that is a sponsored organization of the New York Foundation for the Arts. Currently inhabiting a 100 square foot storefront on the cusp between New York’s Lower East Side and Chinatown, Forever & Today is a mere thumbprint on the ever-expanding demographic of contemporary art that offers a unique set of circumstances for artists to create new work and engage the public.