Apr 17th 2014

Artist William Pope.L orchestrates a part performance, and part discussion with farmyard animal costumes. With a panel of guest speakers, including artists Zachary Cahill and Wolfie E. Rawk; Director of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois, Lise Yun Lee; and Romi Crawford, associate professor of visual and critical studies at the School of the Art Institute, Pope.L explores the complex tradition of public debate while addressing questions around diversity, performance, and identity. These issues are further complicated by a performative intervention which dresses each member of the panel in a different mascot costume.
About the Artist

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. He is a featured artist in the books Intersections (2008), edited by Marci Nelligan and Nicole Mauro; and Darby English’s How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness (2007). In 2009 he was commissioned by Hauser & Wirth to create an installation in response to Allan Kaprow’s Yard. He participated in the New Museum’s 2010–11 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. He is the recipient of the 2012 Joyce Foundation Award to create Pull, a large-scale public project presented at Spaces Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio. In 2013 he created the performance/film project A Long White Cloud at Te Tuhi, Auckland, New Zealand, and presented his solo exhibition Colored Waiting Room at Mitchell-Innes and Nash, NYC. His work is currently on view at Grey Art Gallery NYU and Studio Museum in Harlem as part of the exhibition Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art.

Romi Crawford, PhD, was previously the curator and director of education and public programs at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Her research and curatorial work revolve primarily around ideas of race and ethnicity and the relation to American film, aesthetic, and popular culture. Selected publications include Art Journal; Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Film and Video Artists (University of Washington); Black Light/White Noise: Sound and Light in Contemporary Art (Contemporary Art Museum Houston); Frequency (Studio Museum of Harlem); and Art and Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons (Routledge).

Zachary Cahill is an interdisciplinary artist whose artwork and performances have been exhibited at the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany (ZKM); Aarhus Kunstbygning in Aarhus, Denmark; TONYS, New York; DeVos Museum of Art, Marquette, Michigan; Princeton University, the Smart Museum of Art, and threewalls, Chicago, among others. In 2012 he was a particpant in The Retreat–A Position of dOCUMENTA (13), a residency at the Banff Centre. Since 2007 he has been associated with Our Literal Speed. His writings have appeared in many magazines and journals, including Mousse Magazine, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Shifter Magazine. Cahill is also a regular contributor to Artforum.com.

Lisa Yun Lee is the director of the school of art and art history, a visiting curator at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and a member of the Art History, Museum and Exhibition Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Lee is also the cofounder of the Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council, an organization dedicated to creating spaces for dialogue and dissent and for reinvigorating civil society. She has published a book on Frankfurt School philosopher Theodor Adorno titled, Dialectics of the Body: Corporeality in the Philosophy of Theodor Adorno (Routledge, 2004), and researches and writes about museums and diversity, cultural and environmental sustainability, and spaces for fostering radically democratic practices. Lisa received her BA in religion from Bryn Mawr College, and a PhD in German studies from Duke University. She also serves on the national boards of the American Association of Museums, Imagining America: Artists & Scholars in Public Life, and the boards of Rebuild Foundation, the National Public Housing Museum, Third Coast International Audio Festival, and the International Contemporary Ensemble.

Wolfie E. Rawk is a visual artist who creates hybrids of fiber, sculpture, video, drawing, sound, and installation. Rawk uses materials such as candy, makeup, and monster costumes to explore cuteness, monstrosity, and glamour in relation to transgender bodies and identity. The artist has shown their work throughout the United States and have led projects funded by the Leeway Foundation and the Department of Human Services in Philadelphia. Rawk obtained a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Hampshire College and an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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