March 6, 2017

Foundation to-Life, Inc., Arthur and Carol Kaufman Goldberg Visiting Curator Pablo Helguera: “A Short and Happy Life: The Public Program as an Art Practice”

Hunter College
Pablo Helguera. Photo: Elena Snow.

Pablo Helguera, artist and Director of Adult and Academic Programs, Museum of Modern Art, New York

The Hunter College Department of Art and Art History is pleased to announce a public lecture by the artist Pablo Helguera, Director of Adult and Academic Programs at the Museum of Modern Art, Thursday, March 16, 2017, at 7pm at Hunter’s MFA Studios, 205 Hudson Street in Tribeca, in Manhattan. The talk is free and open to the public.

Born in Mexico City in 1971, Pablo Helguera has worked in a variety of contemporary art museums since the early 1990s, organizing almost a thousand public events in conjunction with nearly 100 exhibitions. He served as head of public programs in the Education Department of the Guggenheim Museum in New York from 1998 to 2005, and was appointed Director of Adult and Academic Programs at the Museum of Modern Art in 2007. In 2010, he was named pedagogical curator of the 8th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Helguera’s work as an educator in the museum intersects with his interests as an artist. Often taking the form of the lecture or engaging strategies of museum display, his art addresses questions of history, ethnography, language, and memory, reflecting on issues of interpretation, dialogue, and the role of contemporary culture in a global reality. The intersection of art and education is best exemplified in Helguera’s 2006 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 as well as a pioneering work for a new generation of socially engaged art.
The Foundation To-Life, Inc. Arthur and Carol Kaufman Goldberg Curatorial Workshops are designed to bring curators of international stature to the Hunter campus to work with students in the MA program in Art History and the MFA program in Studio Art for an extended period of time.  Previous Goldberg Curators have included Ann Goldstein of the Art Institute of Chicago; Hamza Walker of LAXArt in Los Angeles; Fabrice Stroun, an independent curator based in Switzerland; Valerie Cassel Oliver of the Contemporary Art Museum Houston; and Omar Kholeif or the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

During his residency at Hunter this semester, Pablo Helguera will work with students in planning and programming “The Incoherents Salon,” an installation and series of events at the Hunter East Harlem Gallery. The Foundation To-Life Curatorial Workshop program recognizes the curatorial interests and ambitions of Hunter students and the Hunter College Art Galleries’ longstanding commitment to exhibitions whose themes, theses, and checklists have been developed and honed by our students. In the past few years, faculty-initiated, seminar-based exhibitions have included Critical Gestures/Contested Spaces: French Art and Politics in the 1960s and Boundless Reality: Traveler Artists’ Landscapes of Latin America from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection (both 2016), Open Work in Latin America, New York & Beyond: Conceptualism Reconsidered 1967-1978 (2013), Peripheral Visions: Italian Photography in Context, 1950s-Present (2012), and Objects of Devotion and Desire: Medieval Relic to Contemporary Art (2011).

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