Pablo Helguera
Art Scenes: The Social Scripts of the Art World

A Blade of Grass, Brooklyn / United States

November 30, 2012

Pablo Helguera
Art Scenes: The Social Scripts of the Art World

A Blade of Grass presents the release of Pablo Helguera’s new book,
published by Jorge Pinto Books, New York

Discussion: December 3, 2012, 6pm 
Paddy Johnson, Art Fag City Editorial Director, and Pablo Helguera
Reception to follow.

RSVP only to info [​at​]
Space is limited

The 8th Floor
17 West 17th Street
New York City
T 646 839 5908

Starting in the mid-1990s, either through performance, drawing, music, theater or literary fiction, the work of Pablo Helguera has extensively addressed the social dynamics of the contemporary art world. This book brings together Helguera’s research on the subject in essay form, aiming to contribute to the neglected area of the sociology of contemporary art.

In this provocative new book, Helguera argues that contemporary art makes us perform self-conscious or instinctive interpretive acts; and that the construction of value in artworks is determined less by the objects themselves—and by extension, by the art market—than by the nature of our interpretive performances, having a trickle-down effect on practically every aspect of art in society. Bringing together perspectives from sociology, education and art theory, Art Scenes aims to contribute to the inauguration of a new field described by Helguera as “Art World Studies.”

As a companion to this book, Helguera has created a video work of the same title, containing the full text of the essay, which will be excerpted at this event. The event is RSVP only.

Art Scenes can be purchased online.

Pablo Helguera (b. 1971, Mexico City) creates work that focuses on history, pedagogy, sociolinguistics and anthropology in formats such as lectures, museum displays, music, artist book editions, drawing, performance and written fiction. His project The School of Panamerican Unrest, a nomadic think tank that physically crossed the continent by car from Anchorage to Tierra del Fuego, is considered one of the most extensive public art projects on record as well as a key project in the field of social practice. He recently exhibited individually at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, and has exhibited or performed at MoMA in New York; Centro de Arte Reina Sofía; HAU Berlin; Hirshhorn Museum; MUKHA, Antwerp; the 8th and 11th Havana Biennials; ICA, Boston; MCA, Chicago; Philagrafika; Performa 05 and 11; San Juan Poligraphic Triennials ’04 and ’10; the Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City;  Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro; the Kitchen; Liverpool Biennial; MCAD, Detroit; BAK Museum, Utrecht; Queens Museum of the Arts; Grand Arts, Kansas City; MALBA, Buenos Aires and many others. He has received Guggenheim and Franklin Furnace Fellowships and the Creative Capital and Art Matters grants. He was the first recipient of the International Award of  Participatory Art of the Emilia Romagna Region in Italy. His composition Endingness was performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2011. He is the author of several books including The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style, Theatrum Anatomicum (and other performance lectures), What in the World and most recently Education for Socially Engaged Art, a materials and techniques book for social practice. He was Senior Resident of Location One in New York in 2011, where he presented the first section of his ongoing work on rhetoric titled The Well-Tempered Exposition. Since 2007 he is the Director of Adult and Academic Programs in the Education Department of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.