Pablo Helguera is an artist and educator who creates work that focuses on history, pedagogy, sociolinguistics, and anthropology in formats such as lectures, museum displays, performance, and written fiction.
Helguer has served as Director of Adult and Academic Programs in the Department of Education at MoMA since 2007. During that time, he has directed MoMA’s Contemporary Art Forum—a theoretical conference that brings together the concerns of contemporary curating and education—and spearheaded socially engaged initiatives for adult audiences, including interactive workshop spaces and collaborations with contemporary artists in the creation of public programs. His book Education for Socially Engaged Art (2011), a primer for social practice, has quickly been adopted as a main textbook for art schools and university programs internationally.
Helguera’s work as an educator often intersects his interests as an artist, reflecting on issues of interpretation, dialogue, and the role of contemporary culture in a global reality. This is exemplified in his project The School of Panamerican Unrest, a nomadic think-tank that physically 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 was born in Mexico City in 1971. He has exhibited widely (at MoMA, the Havana Biennial, Performa, and the Reina Sofia, among others) and has received Guggenheim and Franklin Furnace fellowships and Creative Capital and Art Matters grants. He is also the author of 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, about the sociology of contemporary art. He recently obtained his PhD from Kingston University in London. Helguera is a Seed Fund Teaching Fellow in Urban Studies at SFAI. pablohelguera.net
About the Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series
SFAI’s Visiting Artists and Scholars (VAS) lecture series provides students and faculty—as well as the wider Bay Area public—with direct exposure to major figures in contemporary global art and culture. It creates an open forum through which SFAI’s students are challenged to go beyond basic canonical approaches to the study of art and to discover a global perspective that encourages conceptual and comparative approaches. In addition to the public lectures they give, visiting artists and scholars regularly engage with students in an immediate and active way, by teaching intensives or by participating in seminars, critiques, or colloquia.
All VAS lectures begin at 7:30 pm in the Lecture Hall on SFAI’s 800 Chestnut Street campus.