Pablo Helguera's The School of Panamerican Unrest may sound like another artist-proposed, utopian vision for the future. And in many ways it is, although the Mexican-born, New York-based artist is trying to do much more than just revel in the impossible scope of his project. Housed in a mobile yellow structure resembling a one-room school house, the main component of the project is "a nomadic forum or think-tank that will cross the hemisphere by land, from Anchorage, Alaska, to Ushuaia, Argentina, in Tierra del Fuego." Recognizing a greater potential for cross-cultural for communication between the nations that comprise the Americas, Helguera's SPU will host forums, panels, discussions, performances, screenings and collaborations between May and September 2006.
Perhaps it has something to do with his recent 7-year stint heading up programs at the Guggenheim, but Helguera has pieced together what promises to be a truly engaging lineup of activities that will actually create dialog amongst English, Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. The itinerary includes Portland, where Helguera and his yellow schoolhouse will be stationed May 30 through June 1 for a panel discussion, first Wednesday and First Thurday receptions and a performance by Helguera entitled Panamerican Fiction. After the schoolhouse departs for Alberta, Canada and a couple dozen other destinations throughout North, Central and South America, the artist will continue to send ephemera and other documentation to be displayed at PNCA's Feldman Gallery through July.
The topic of Helguera's panels and discussions changes with each location. On Tuesday evening, Helguera—along with a panel that includes Red 76's Sam Gould, Harrell Fletcher, and Ian Greenfield (Lightbox Studios and the Oregon Bus Project—will engage in a panel discussion on The Portland Liberty Bell: Questions on Civil Disobedience. "On Nov. 21, 1970, a powerful bomb exploded behind Portland's City Hall, and arguably destroyed the State's bronze replica of the Liberty Bell. A urban myth that the Portland Liberty Bell was destroyed has never been fully dispelled, along with the open mystery of who carried out this and other terrorist acts—although it was largely suspected of students and civilian activists. This discussion explores that historic moment in Portland and the US and will include a discussion civil life and unresolved social or political conflict."
Supported by PICA, PNCA, and RACC.
Panel Discussion • Tuesday, May 30th • 7p
Gallery Preview • Wednesday, May 31st • 6–8p
First Thursday Opening • Thursday, June 1st • 6–9p
Panamerican Fiction • Performance • Thursday, June 1st • 6:30p
All events take place at:
Feldman Gallery • PNCA •1241 NW Johnson • 503.226.4391