William Pope.L : Before and after PULL!



Join HCL for the third installment of this Summer’s Cultural Conversations series. This month features a discussion with the multi-faceted artist William Pope.L. Admission is free, but please! RSVP here.

PULL! is a endurance-performance that takes place june 7-9, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. In the performance, rotating teams of Clevelanders pull a 10 ton truck by hand 25 miles in three days from the eastside of the city to the westside. The project was an answer to a request by the art gallery Spaces: What sort of project did i want to do?”

Some interesting questions that resulted from the project: what is the function of the artist when he or she is no longer needed to create of the work? what is going on when the institution(s) and/or persons with which the artist is collaborating become the ‘artist’? if the purpose, in the artist’s mind, was to ‘give the work away’, then 1. how does the artist ‘own’ the work? 2. should the artist ‘own’ the work? and if so, how? For example, would a video documentary of the project be adequate? 3. in fact, can the artist ‘own’ the work at all?


William Pope.L is a visual and performance-theater artist and educator who makes culture out of contraries. He has been making multi-disciplinary works since the 1970s, and has exhibited internationally, including New York, London, Los Angeles, Vienna, Montreal, Berlin, Zurich, and Tokyo. Recent projects have been at the Art Institute of Chicago, Santa Monica Museum of Art, and a major installation for Sammlung Falckenberg in Hamburg, Germany. He is a featured artist in the books “Intersections” edited by Marci Nelligan and Nicole Mauro, and Darby English’s “How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness.” In 2009 he was commissioned by Hauser & Wirth to create aninstallation in response to Kaprow’s “Yard.” He participated in the New Museum’s 2010-2011 exhibition “The Last Newspaper” with a reenactment of his infamous “Eating the Wall Street Journal” performance. In 2011, the Museum of Modern Art in New York invited Pope.L to participate in their FluxKit project, and his community performance/installation “Blink” was included in Prospect2-New Orleans. In early 2012 Pope.L had a solo exhibition at Galerie Catherine Bastide in Brussels, Belgium; and is the recipient of the 2012 Joyce Foundation Award to create “Pull!,” a large scale public project to be presented at Spaces Gallery, Cleveland, OH, in 2013.

Also! Listen to a recent interview featuring William Pope.L with Chicago’s Bad at Sports podcast here.