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MCA Talk
William Pope.L

Thu, Apr 17, 2014, 6–7:30 pm

Artist William Pope.L orchestrates an evening that is part performance and part discussion. With a panel of artists and professors, Pope.L explores the complex tradition of public debate while addressing questions about diversity, performance, and identity. The artist further complicates these issues by dressing each member of the panel in a different farm animal costume.

Guest speakers include artists Zachary Cahill and Wolfie E. Rawk; Lisa Yun Lee, director of the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois; and Romi Crawford, associate professor of visual and critical studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

About the Artist and Guest Speakers

William Pope.L is a visual and performance-theater artist and educator who makes culture out of contraries. He has been making multidisciplinary works since the 1970s. 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 received a 2012 Joyce Foundation Award to create Pull, a large-scale public project presented at Spaces Gallery, Cleveland. His work was recently on view at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery and the Studio Museum in Harlem as part of the exhibition Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art.

Romi Crawford 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.

Zachary Cahill is an interdisciplinary artist whose current work for USSA 2012 explores the roles that art and institutions play in society. Since 2007 he has been associated with the collective 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. Cahill’s work is featured in the MCA’s BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works series, which opens on April 29th.

Lisa Yun Lee is the director of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) 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 UIC. 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 researches and writes about museums and diversity, cultural and environmental sustainability, and spaces for fostering radically democratic practices.

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 SAIC.


This program is made possible by the Kristina Barr Lectures, which were established through a generous gift by the Barr Fund to the Chicago Contemporary Campaign.