Theatrum Anatomicum (and other performance lectures) Pablo Helguera
"Helguera knows the lecture form inside out, in all its frailties and anachronisms, and he cares for it. But expect the Professor-Doctor of its terminal condition to be doing stand-up at the funeral."
Dominic Willsdon, The Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
“While Helguera writes in a manner that suggests parody, he is simultaneously deadly serious and entirely accurate… [he] routinely appropriates academic language or strategies to create his artworks, which can appear as books, recordings, symposia or even a nomadic museum. With these he astutely observes the politics of culture and its effects on society, what it means to us and how we are taught to appreciate it.”
Amanda Coulson, Art Review
“Pablo Helguera is […] a splendid liar, a first-class storyteller, a curious mind constantly in search of stories, a creator of parallel universes and impossible characters living in credible situations, which invariably probe our certainties, intuition and knowledge.”
Naief Yehya, writer and critic
Theatrum Anatomicum (and Other Performance Lectures) brings together a number of performance scripts that blend the dramatic elements of theater with the gravity of the academic presentation, and bring into dialogue topics as disparate as the Latin American soap opera, the origins of the Kindergarten, the history of the Shakers, the US/Mexico war and the social dynamics of the art world. In these series of experimental works, the voices of real and fictional characters come together in a critical exploration of history, politics, and art.
"Pablo Helguera is an educator and artist who uses satire to explore the complicated social structure of the contemporary art scene. His performance, "We all need a Pygmalion," takes the form of a "self-improvement" workshop with a musical component—Helguera sings songs about the art world to melodies from My Fair Lady. The performance is an introduction to his book The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style. Written in the style of an old-school etiquette handbook, Helguera's wry advice is practical for any artist."
—from the Hirschhorn Museum website
Pablo Helguera is a visual artist living in New York whose works and performances have been presented in museums and art spaces internationally. He is the author of the books The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style, The Boy Inside the Letter, The Witches of Tepoztlán (and Other Unpublished Operas), and Artoons.
Praise for The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style:
“Pablo Helguera has written the book we have all been waiting for.”
“You will sob, even howl, with laughter.”
“The balancing act between flippancy and gravity is neither easy to achieve nor to sustain, yet Helguera manages it with ease.”