This week: This week we talk with artist, writer, and WhiteWalls co-founder Buzz Spector!
Buzz Spector is an artist and critical writer whose artwork has been shown in such museums and galleries as the Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA. Spector’s work makes frequent use of the book, both as subject and object, and is concerned with relationships between public history, individual memory, and perception. He has issued a number of artists’ books and editions since the mid-1970s, including, most recently, Time Square, a limited edition letterpress book hand altered by the artist and published in 2007 by Pyracantha Press and ABBA at Arizona State University in Tempe. Among his previous publications are Between the Sheets, a limited edition book of images and text published in 2004 by The Ink Shop Printmaking Center in Ithaca, NY, Details: closed to open, an artists’ book of photographic details from images in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, (List Art Gallery, Swarthmore College, 2001) and Beautiful Scenes: selections from the Cranbrook Archives (Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI, 1998).
Spector was a co-founder of WhiteWalls, a magazine of writings by artists, in Chicago in 1978, and served as the publication’s editor until 1987. Since then he has written extensively on topics in contemporary art and culture, and has contributed reviews and essays to a number of publications, including American Craft, Artforum, Art Issues, Art on Paper, Exposure, and New Art Examiner. He is the author of The Book Maker’s Desire, critical essays on topics in contemporary art and artists’ books (Umbrella Editions, 1995), and numerous exhibition catalogue essays, including Conrad Bakker: untitled mail order catalogue (Creative Capital, Inc., 2002) and Dieter Roth (University of Iowa Museum of Art, 1999).
Spector’s most recent recognition is a 2005 New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA Fellowship. In 1991 he was awarded a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship, and in 1982, 1985, and 1991 he received National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Awards. He is Dean of the College and Graduate School of Art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.
This week: More Open Engagement “SoPra”! This week we talk to Pablo Helguera!
Pablo Helguera (Mexico City, 1971) is a New York based artist working with installation, sculpture, photography, drawing, and performance. Helguera’s work focuses in a variety of topics ranging from history, pedagogy, sociolinguistics, ethnography, memory and the absurd, in formats that are widely varied including the lecture, museum display strategies, musical performances and written fiction.
His work as an educator intersected his interest as an artist, making his work often reflects on issues of interpretation, dialogue, and the role of contemporary culture in a global reality. This intersection is best exemplified in his project, “The School of Panamerican Unrest”, a nomadic think-tank that physically crossed the continent by car from Anchorage, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, making 40 stops in between. Covering almost 20,000 miles, it is considered one of the most extensive public art projects on record.
Pablo Helguera performed individually at various museums and biennials internationally. In 2008 he was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and also was the recipient of a 2005 Creative Capital Grant. Helguera worked for fifteen years in a variety of contemporary art museums. Since 2007, he is Director of Adult and Academic programs at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
He is the author, amongst several other books, of The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style (2005), a social etiquette manual for the art world; The Boy Inside the Letter (2008) Theatrum Anatomicum ( and other performance lectures) (2008), the play The Juvenal Players (2009) and What in the World (2010).