Pablo Helguera
The School of Panamerican Unrest

Friday, May 26 to Saturday June 10, 2006

Discussion/Roundtable Presentation: Friday, May 26 at 7:00 pm
Panamerican Civic Ceremony: Saturday, May 27 at 8:00 pm

With the participation of: Trevor Boddy (architecture critic/urbanist) • Michèle Faguet (curator, Or Gallery) • Charo Neville (independent curator) • Aaron Peck (writer) • St. George Marsh (Jacob Gleeson / Gareth Moore, artists and proprietors) • Conrad Schmidt (coordinator, Work Less Party) • Jeremy Todd (artist) • Elizabeth Zvonar (artist)

The School of Panamerican Unrest is an artist-led, public art project that seeks to generate connections between the different regions of the Americas through discussions, short-term and long-term collaborations between organizations and individuals. Its main component will be a nomadic forum or think-tank that will cross the hemisphere by land, from Anchorage, Alaska, to Ushuaia, Argentina (Tierra del Fuego)—billed as the longest ground-covering public art project ever attempted. This hybrid project will include a collapsible and movable architectural structure in the form of a schoolhouse, as well as a video and book collection component inside a van with which the journey will be made. The project seeks to involve a wide range of publics and engage them at different levels in a dialogue about alternative ways to understand the history, ideology, and lines of thought that have significantly impacted in the political, social and cultural events in the Americas.

From May 19 through September 15 the SPU will make official stops in more than 20 countries, making it the longest ground-covering public art project ever attempted. The journey will be documented in video footage that will result in a documentary to be launched in 2007. For the Helen Pitt Gallery, the debates, programs and roundtable discussions will seek to articulate issues that pertain to local concerns around culture and society, as well as their connections to the ideas of the Americas. With the participation of a diverse series of local collaborators, he project will also seek to locate ways through which artistic practice can acquire an influential role in public life, political, cultural and social discourse, enriching the perspective communities in a productive and propositive manner. The Panamerican Civic Ceremony on will present the results of this dialogue.

As an artistic project, the SPU seeks to innovate by combining performative and educational strategies, creating new forms of presentation and debate about political and historical subjects and creating a discussion infrastructure that will break with the usual academic formats, and the predictable means of communication and debate that are normally used in the art world.

More information is available at

Pablo Helguera (born Mexico City, 1971) is a visual artist living and working in New York. His work usually acquires unusual formats, ranging from experimental symposiums, phonograph recordings, exhibition acoustiguides, or nomadic museums. Helguera has presented his work at the Museum of Modern Art of New York, the Royal College of Art in London, the 8th Havana Biennial, the Museo del Barrio in New York, Shedhalle in Zurich, PS1 in New York, MCA Chicago, IFA Bonn, Metropolitan Museum in Tokyo, MALBA in Buenos Aires, Ex-Teresa in Mexico City, the Bronx Museum, as well as in Zagreb, Berlin, Athens, Ljubljana, São Paulo, and Bogotá