Born in Mexico City, Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with installation, sculpture, photography, drawing, socially engaged art and performance. Helguera’s work focuses on a variety of topics, ranging from history, pedagogy, sociolinguistics, ethnography, memory and the absurd, in formats that include the lecture, museum display strategies, musical performances and written fiction.
His work as an educator has usually intersected his interest as an artist. This intersection is best 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. 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 the new generation of artworks regarded under the area of socially engaged art.
In 2008 Helguera was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2011 he was named winner of the International Award of Participatory Art of the Region Emilia-Romagna in Italy.
Helguera has worked since 1991 in a variety of contemporary art museums, including as Head of Public Programs at the education department of the Guggenheim Museum in New York (1998-2005). From 2007 to 2020, he was Director of Adult and Academic Programs at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2010 he was appointed Pedagogical Curator of the 8th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He is currently Assistant Professor of Arts and Entrepreneurship at the College of Performing Arts at the New School in New York.
Arts University Plymouth awarded an Honorary Fellowship to Pablo Helguera in 2021 in recognition of his outstanding international contribution to the world of socially engaged artistic practice, and as a pioneer of investigating the social dynamics of contemporary art in our daily lives.