Tuesday, March 10, 2009

William Pope.L's "Eating the Wall Street Journal"

It was hard to find pictures of a lot of William Pope.L's work, most likely since he does mainly different types of performance art. Here, he is seen eating a regurgitating the Wall Street Journal. While this is clearly a very emotional work, it didn't stand out to me as much as some of his other performances, such as the 22mi crawl down Broadway in New York City (he has done crawls though streets, on railroad tracks, and in gutters around the world). He described his work in the following way: "My work is not glamorous yet it is ambitious in its feeling. It seeks a visceral, bodily, material 'explanation' for human desire writ large in human action.... I believe art re-ritualizes the everyday to reveal something fresh about our lives. This revelation is a vitality and it is a power to change the world." Much of his work does deal with re-appropriating common objects, such as peanut butter or cornflakes; he also works a lot with race and what defines it, often using his own body as a medium for examining this topic. His work seems to be both public and socially consciousness. Though his message may not always be immediately clear, the further one delves into his work and history of performances the more one understands how much of his work relates together and strives to better the world--he even donates all of the profits from his series of previously-sold objects (upon which a Black Factory sticker is adhered) to local food banks.

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