An Evening of Protest and Social Engagement with Pablo Helguera

Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2011

This past Tuesday night we held an event in the famed Orozco Room at the New School to share our recent project, produced in collaboration with Pablo Helguera: “El Club de Protesta (The Protest Club)” and introduce Pablo’s new book “Education for Socially Engaged Art“.

The evening started off with an introduction to José Clemente Orozco’s frescoes by the New School’s Art Collection curator Silvia Rocciolo. We then moved into a conversation between Melissa Rachleff and Pablo about his history and practices of “socially engaged art”.

PH_Orozco Room2

The audience was presented with a screening of a short video that documented The Protest Club and then was given a chance to speak with Pablo before he led a few sing along protest songs that had been part of his workshop curriculum for his recent project. A stimulating discussion ensued regarding the definition and implications of socially engaged art.

The pairing between these 80 year old murals and Pablo’s recent project revealed a distinct evolution in art practices geared towards social change. Orozco created his work in relative isolation over the course of 47 days. In contrast, Pablo’s “El Club de Protesta” required relationship building and mentorship to guide and elicit the expression of participants artistic visions of social change. Regardless of difference in form and content, both inspiring works of art resonate today.

We thank the New School for being such a tremendous host and all of the attendees for your curiosity and support.