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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Pope.L: Conquest

Public Art Fund / New York / Art

Pope.L is known for provocation (he once ate a Wall Street Journal while sitting on a toilet). He is also known for his difficult physical explorations of public spaces. You may have seen him crawling through New York City, in the gutters of Tompkins Square Park, or along Broadway when he traversed all 22 of its miles. This fall, starting on September 21, three art venues honor Pope.L’s work. The first, called “Conquest,” is a five-hour crawl across lower Manhattan that’s been commissioned by Public Art Fund. In this edition, 140 strangers abandon verticality to accompany Pope.L on all fours—a statement of collective action. “Conquest” is followed by “Choir” at the Whitney, a Pope.L designed mega-installation inspired by, among other things, John Cage’s use of soundless sound and Duchamp’s Fountain. Concurrently, MoMA commemorates Pope.L by recreating 13 of his ephemeral performances—pieces focused on gender, race, work, struggle, community—with live action simulations, archival footage, and sculptural props and paintings. —C.J.F.

Similar events around the world: “Member: Pope.L, 1978-2001,” Museum of Modern Art, New York (October 21, 2019–February 1, 2020) and “Pope.L: Choir,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (October 10, 2019–Winter 2020).

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