Conversation with Pablo Helguera, Suzanne Lacy, and Pilar Riaño-Alcalá

Conversation with Pablo Helguera, Suzanne Lacy, and Pilar Riaño-Alcalá

Saturday, February 10, 2018
12 to 2pm

Suzanne Lacy and Pilar Riaño-Alcalá , Skin of Memory , 1999. Photo by Carlos Sanchez.

Suzanne Lacy and Pilar Riaño-Alcalá, Skin of Memory, 1999. Photo by Carlos Sanchez.

The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation hosted a talk by artists Pablo Helguera and Suzanne Lacy, and cultural anthropologist Pilar Riaño-Alcalá, moderated by Rubin Foundation Executive and Artistic Director Sara Reisman. The first in a series of programming related to the exhibition The Schoolhouse and the Bus: Mobility, Pedagogy and Engagement, the conversation covered themes raised by the artworks in the exhibition,Helguera’s School of Panamerican Unrest (2006), and Lacy and Pilar Riaño-Alcalá’s Skin of Memory (1999/2011), which highlight overlapping concerns including migration, collective memory, and social organization.


Pablo Helguera was born in Mexico City in 1971. He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, both an art school and a museum, working in the museum education department while earning his B.F.A. He has since held positions in education at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Guggenheim New York, and is currently the Director of Adult and Academic Programs at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Helguera has performed and exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the Americas. His works have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY; Brooklyn Museum, NY; and the Guggenheim, NY; among others. He is the recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation/Fideicomiso para la Cultura Mexico, Creative Capital, Franklin Furnace, and a Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art from A Blade of Grass.

Suzanne Lacy was born in Wasco, California in 1945. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a major in Zoology in 1968, and became a founding member of Judy Chicago’s Feminist Art Program at Fresno State College, moving with the Program when it relocated to CalArts. Lacy’s work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, London; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, LA; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the New Museum, NY; MoMA P.S.1, NY; and the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, Bilbao. She has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, Henry Moore Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and a Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art from A Blade of Grass. Lacy was founding chair of the M.F.A. program in Public Practice at Otis College of Art and Design in California. In 2013, she received a Ph.D. from Gray’s School of Art at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, and is currently a professor at the Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California

Pilar Riaño-Alcalá is an anthropologist and professor at the University of British Columbia. Her scholarship is primarily concerned with three broad themes: the lived experience of violence and displacement, the politics of memory, and the ethnography of social repair. Riaño-Alcaláhas published widely on topics including forced migration, historical memory, witnessing and public art as civic pedagogy. From 2008 to 2013 she was one of the researchers of the Grupo de Memoria Histórica(Historical Memory Commission) in Colombia and is now an advisor to the National Museum of Historical Memory of Colombia.