Project Summary

20150713-2002-14 HC Inside Overview

Helga and Carl is a 150 sq. ft. wooden sculpture in the form of an upright larger-than-life entirely interactive wooden book.  As the viewer opens, builds, writes, and engages with 30 interactive pieces (handmade books, photography collections, home furnishings, tools and customized clothing), he advances the plot as audience, narrator, and protagonist.

Helga and Carl explores the relationship between creation and consumption, especially the transitions between the two.  The story is told through collaborations with 15 hand-chosen visual artists – each contributing a 24″ x 24″ or 24″ x 48″ visual chapter, using a variety of media – tiles, photography, paint, stain, sculpture, poetry, dress-making, and book-arts.  The chapters are brought together through story-telling sequences included in a transparent wooden latticework – incorporating each artist’s component into a big-picture infrastructure.

The viewer encounters Carl Sagan, Carl Jung, and Pac-Man – brought together by a mysterious, benevolent entity named Helga.

*     *     *

Alexander Pergament (works in Jersey City, NJ; born 1984, Odessa, Ukraine), the artist and creator of Helga and Carl, weaves his story of immigration from the Ukraine, Jewish heritage, and the transition from legal career into a creative one.  Pergament is an honors graduate of Rutgers College, double-majoring in Philosophy and Genetics (B.A. 2005), and a Magna Cum Laude graduate of The George Washington University Law School (J.D. 2009, Order of the Coif, Law Review Editor).  Pergament served as a law clerk to Judge Richard Linn on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and was an associate at Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart, & Sullivan in New York, prior to becoming an artist. He is currently an artist-in-residence at 660 Studios, a 4-story arts enclave in Jersey City, and the inspiration and birthplace of Helga and Carl.


Helga and Carl
is sponsored in part by COJECO BluePrint Fellowship funded by the UJA Federation of New York and Genesis Philanthropy Group.  Current sponsors include Vista + CRC Imaging Group, 660 Studios, and The Culture JC.

View & Download Project Summary