login    password    artist  buyer  gallery  
Not a member? Register
Indepth Arts News:

"Pablo Helguera: Swan Song"
2005-04-22 until 2005-05-28
Julia Friedman Gallery
Chicago, IL, USA United States of America

Julia Friedman Gallery is proud to present, "Swan Song," a solo exhibition of new work by New York based artist Pablo Helguera. "Swan Song" is comprised of a group of artworks and performances that collectively posit the artist's elaborate theory about finitude. Through appropriation of academic means and language, the artist's earnest, yet eccentric theory, termed, "endingness" suggests a creative state that is triggered by the personal confrontation with the ending of things.

In a 100-page book that constitutes one of the works in the exhibition, the artist puts forth a theory of creativity based on the art of memory. While loosely following the spirit of early XXth century manifestos, this theory is rooted in a combination of cognitive theories, phenomenological discourse, and Hermetic thought. The works included in the show, which implement various aspects of these ideas, touch on subjects such as the relationship between memory and architecture, perspectivist theory and finitude.

Helguera treats several of the artworks in the show as "case studies," such as "Acolman" and "Conservatory of Dead Languages." "Conservatory of Dead Languages" is an installation of wax cylinder recordings of dying languages. Using an also near-extinct devise, Thomas Alva Edison's wax-cylinder phonograph, the artist has recorded a variety of songs and texts of languages that will likely disappear in the next half century. By creating a group of obsolete recordings of a dying language, Helguera points to the ironies, contradictions, and mythologies of the notion of preservation.

"Acolman" is a ceiling installation and video work that is derived from a local belief regarding one of the earliest Augustine monasteries in Mexico, built in 1539. According to the inhabitants of the town, the echoes of the monks' voices are still trapped within the walls of the chapel, and were first heard during a restoration of the church's frescoes in the 1940s. The artist revisits this story to create a work about architectural space and its location within real and invented memory.

"Swan Song" opens on April 22 with the gallery exhibition as well as a special performance involving a full orchestra playing live at 601 West 26th St, Room M227. The first performance at 6:30 pm, was composed by the artist himself, followed by the recreation of the final movement of Franz-Joseph Haydn's "Farewell" Symphony, No.45 (a work in which, by specification of the composer, the musicians gradually exit the stage until only one violin is left). The opening night performance will be performed by the Mexican American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alondra de la Parra.

"Swan Song" exemplifies Pablo Helguera's ongoing investigation into the relationship between history and legacy, cultural production and language. Helguera develops narratives and interpretive scripts that fictionalize the real and inform his intermixing of performance, literature and visual arts.

This is the first solo exhibition of artist Pablo Helguera (1971) in New York since his presentation of "Parallel Lives" at The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Gramercy Theater, in 2003. Helguera has exhibited or performed at venues such as; Royal College of Art, London; 8th Havana Biennal, Havana; Shedhalle, Zurich; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; IFA Galerie, Bonn; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo; The Bronx Museum, New York; Artist Space, New York; and Sculpture Center, New York. His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Tema Celeste, Art Nexus, NY Arts, Chicago Tribune, amongst others. Helguera is the recipient of a 2005 Creative Capital Grant.

Related Links:


Discover over 150,000 works of contemporary art. Search by medium, subject matter, price and theme... research over 200,000 works by over 22,000 masters in the indepth art history section. Browse through new Art Blogs. Use our advanced artwork search interface.

Call for Artists, Premiere Portfolio sign-up for your Free Portfolio or create an Artist Portfolio today and sell your art at the marketplace for contemporary Art! Start a Gallery Site to exclusively showcase your gallery. Keep track of contemporary art with your free MYabsolutearts account.


Copyright 1995-2013. World Wide Arts Resources Corporation. All rights reserved