The Void Show
March 3 – May 12, 2007
Opening Reception: Saturday March 3, from 6 to 8 pm
MC is pleased to present The Void Show, a solo exhibition by William Pope.L, whose work in the field of performance and installation over the past three decades has continued to question social and aesthetic assumptions. Consumerism and its malcontents have always been at the heart of Pope.L’s practice. As a prelude to the current exhibit, MC produced at last year’s Frieze art fair a special project with Pope.L entitled Shed Piece (2006). There a shed covered in a ton of peanut butter yielded a fluorescent blue interior containing a projection. The projection shows citizens dressed in white suits crawl through flower gardens, scan the soil, unearth and treat bulky blue landmines.
The current exhibition includes two works. In Vessel in a Vessel in a Vessel and So On (2007), Pope.L brings together a golden bust of Martin Luther King, Jr and a beheaded statue of a cartoonish pirate wench. The odd creature, mounted on a monumental pedestal, hangs from the ceiling of the gallery, upside down. As if the stuff of life had been inserted in it, a slow drip of a dark substance, chocolate sauce, leaks from its head onto the floor. In places, the composite of the Civil Rights movement leader and the sassy pirate lady reveals its hollow nature, as empty shells, as vessels asking to be filled with meaning.
To the back of the gallery, The Void Piece (2007) offers a different take on emptiness. A low wall is dressed up across the room, obstructing the space behind it. A small framed opening through the wall only reveals a dense black hole from which a slow air stream can be felt. Withholding what the room contains, this disconnect entices one’s curiosity, from which the black hole can be read.
For each exhibition MC produces a multiple. William has created an object reminiscent of Shed Piece which is a land mine in a box. Here once again Pope.L looks for the breaking point between consumerist impulse and abject horror.
William Pope.L lives and works in Maine. Upcoming solo exhibitions in 2007 will be held at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA; The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; and the Art Institute, Chicago, IL. Past solo exhibitions include Trophy Room, Kunsthalle, Vienna, Austria (2006); Props & Propositions, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH (2005); eRacism, The Project, New York, Rutgers University, Artistspace, New York and Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, OR (2002-4), The Project, New York, NY (2001), University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts (1999). Pope L.’s group exhibitions include Civil Restitutions, Thomas Dane, London (2006); Double Consciousness, Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, TX (2005); Art & Outrage, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, NY (2002), Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2002), and Out of Action, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (1998). Recent performances include the Black Factory, various venues (2006), Santa Fe Crawl, Santa Fe, NM (2006), White Room #4, London, UK (2005).