La Austral, S.A. de C.V. is a socially engaged offsite project by Pablo Helguera that transforms El Museo de Los Sures into a “storytelling dispensary,” a place where visitors can hear a range of live stories performed by a facilitator.
Inspired in part by the current plight of individuals affected by the proposed elimination of the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), known as “Dreamers,” Helguera trained a group of immigrants to the United States, including community organizers, activists, writers and poets, to perform as facilitators in this project.
La Austral, S.A. de C.V. was developed out of Helguera’s interest in creating a cultural and social place for the public. “Austral” refers to the Spanish for “south,” as well as the prominent Spanish book publisher, Austral. “Sociedad anónima de capital variable,” or S. A. de C.V., which translates to “anonymous society of variable capital,” is typically used to describe independent businesses in Mexico. In this new context, the terms “anonymous society” and “variable capital” seek to transcend the original legal and economic meaning of the words. Storytelling is a form Helguera has used in numerous works, including The Seven Bridges of Konigsberg, 2008, Forever and Today, New York; Nuevo Romancero Nuevomejicano, 2014, SITE Santa Fe, and The Parable Conference, 2014, BAM, New York.
La Austral, S.A. de C.V. includes a storytelling workshop at The 8th Floor on March 15, 6–8pm led by Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, made possible by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.
Pablo Helguera (born Mexico City, 1971) is a New York-based artist working with installation, sculpture, photography, drawing, socially engaged art and performance. Helguera has exhibited or performed at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; 8th and 11th Havana Biennials, Performa 05, New York; Shedhalle, Zurich; Manifesta 11, Zurich; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; SITE Santa Fe Biennial; Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, among others. He showed his work, Parallel Lives, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2003, and his musical composition, Endingness, was performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Helguera was Pedagogical Curator of the 8th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Museo Jumex in Mexico City is currently conducting a mid-career retrospective of his work, titled Dramatis Personae. Helguera is represented by Kent Fine Art, New York and Enrique Guerrero Gallery, Mexico City.
Special thanks to performers Joel Berrios, Juan Manuel Esquivel, Carolina Fung Feng, Gabriela Galván, Kenia R. Guillen, Heliis Martinson, Aldair Gonzalez Sanchez, and Project Manager Nora Boyd.
Theme-specific events will take place from 6–8pm on the following dates:
April 24: Birthday Stories at La Austral, S.A. de C.V.
May 3: Journeys at La Austral, S.A. de C.V.
May 10: On Farewells at La Austral, S.A. de C.V.
This offsite project is curated by Juliana Cope, Director of Development and Programs Manager.
This project is the tenth collaboration between Los Sures and ISCP. It is made possible, in part, by New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, New York City Council District 34, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation.
- Hours: Fridays–Sundays, 12–5pm
- Location: El Museo de Los Sures, 120 South 1st Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249