South London Gallery exhibits Pope.L's wide ranging practice

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South London Gallery exhibits Pope.L's wide ranging practice
Pope.L, Litany.



LONDON.- Pope.L's wide ranging practice spans writing, painting, performance, installation, sculpture and video, which is being explored across both the SLG's Main Gallery and Fire Station. With roots in philosophy and theatre, Pope.L's career since the 1970s has centred on society, politics and contemporary culture. The work often reveals contradictory and provocative themes in language, gender, race, economics and community.

At the core of an expansive new installation in the SLG's Main Gallery is a set of three towers, all in different states of gradual collapse. The 3 metre high wooden structures, each topped with a toilet, are based on that used in one of Pope.L's seminal performances, Eating the Wall Street Journal (2000). For this latest reworking Pope.L has removed the live performance element from public view, shifting the focus to the dynamic of the toppling tower structures and viewers' capacity to imagine what might have happened or what is still to come.

Alongside the towers is a new set of shelf works, shown in both the Main Gallery and two galleries in the Fire Station, in which arrays of bottles of cheap alcohol are showcased on simple wooden shelves. Also in the Fire Station there is a screening of Small Cup (2008). The video captures the destruction of a seed-coated model of the US Capitol building by a handful of goats and chickens who trample the miniature replica in an old textile warehouse in Maine.

The exhibition also includes a number of installation works which were unveiled on 20 November.

Pope.L (also known as William Pope.L) is an artist best known for his provocative performances and public installations. While centering on themes such as gender and race, his works explore the systems, conflicts, and beliefs inherent to our society and culture. Pope.L studied at Pratt Institute and Montclair State College, where he received a BA in 1978. He also participated in the Independent Study Program at the Whitney and received an MFA in 1981 from Rutgers University. His works have been exhibited at many significant institutions, including the Anthology Film Archives, Franklin Furnace, Artist Space, Museum of Modern Art, New Museum, Performa, The Sculpture Center, the 2002 and 2017 Whitney Biennials, the Carpenter Center in Boston and the Geffen at MOCA Los Angeles.










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