Past Exhibition

41 iluminaciones para armar en tres partes

Opening: Wednesday, November 29, 7 p.m. Closing: April 21, 2024.
Pablo Helguera
Víctor Palacios
6 North
Opening: Wednesday, November 29, 7 p.m. Closing: April 21, 2024.

41 illuminations to assemble (in three parts) is an exhibition in homage to my brother, the Mexican writer Luis Ignacio Helguera (1962-2003).

Luis Ignacio obtained his degree at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the UNAM, graduating with the thesis “El problema de la comprensión en Ser y Tiempo de Heidegger [The problem of understanding in Heidegger’s Being and Time] in 1985; for this work he was awarded the Gabino Barreda Medal (1987) and the Norman Sverdlin Prize. Shortly thereafter Luis Ignacio abandoned philosophy to devote himself fully to literature, which he decided was his true vocation. He wrote poetry, aphorisms, short stories and essays; musicology and chess were also part of his interests throughout his life. Despite his tragic and premature death at the age of 40, he published 17 books, as well as hundreds of articles and edited 60 issues of the music magazine Pauta.

Nacho, who was nine years older than me, was in many ways my first teacher. He taught me music, philosophy and literature since my childhood. His bohemian character always contrasted with mine, much more shy than his. His interest was modernism, and he was a skeptic of contemporary art –something that over the years opened a philosophical gap between the two of us, although we never lost our close emotional ties.

Today, twenty years after his death, and now that I happen to be more than ten years older than he was when he died, I have decided to tackle a format that was very much his own: the prose poem. This exhibition is structured around 41 prose poems that I have written, in the spirit of Nacho’s aesthetic (all using the eponymous titles of Arthur Rimbaud’s book Illuminations, a writer that Nacho admired), each accompanied by a collage, a conceptual music score (instruction art) to be interpreted by other artists, and questions of a pedagogical nature.

I thank the artists Arhat Alejandro, Héctor Jiménez, Andrea Linares, Sinuhe Saavedra, Priscila Santos, Marita Terríquez and Mario Wandu, for having agreed to create pieces in dialogue with the instructions of 41 illuminations to assemble (in three parts), the Impronta publishing house of Guadalajara for the publication of the book that accompanies this exhibition, and Víctor Palacios and Alejandro Cámara Frías of the Cabañas Museum for their invitation and tireless support in the realization of this exhibition.

Pablo Helguera