Pope L.: Conquest
On September 21, Public Art Fund will present Conquest,Pope.L’s largest group performance to date. Inspired by the artist’s iconic crawls in which he dragged his body across the urban landscape, Conquest will navigate the streets of Downtown Manhattan continuing the irreverent tradition of his more than 30 performative works that have taken place since 1978. In this iteration, a group of 100+ volunteer participants that reflect the cultural and demographic diversity of New York City will crawl in relay a nearly 1.5 mile-long route from the well-to-do West Village to the new granite steps of Union Square via the triumphal arch of Washington Square Park. In choosing to give up their physical privilege, participants satirize their own social and political advantage, creating a comic scene of struggle and vulnerability to share with the entire community. Public Art Fund’s presentation will be the artist’s most ambitious yet, putting on full display the power and contradictions of collective expression. Pope.L: Conquest will take place on Saturday, September 21 in Downtown Manhattan.
“The crawl is an absurd journey to an uncertain goal,” Pope.L says. “The raw physical struggle of the journey suggests homelessness and a loss of hope and status but takes place in a tree-lined upscale environment where wealth, speed, and verticality are king… What sort of progress is this performance? Is it a comedy of errors or business as usual or a critical mirror held up to a great American past-time called success?”
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