William Pope.L

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

Invited to lecture or exhibit at Le Corbusier’s only building in North America, artists devise surprising strategies to confront the modernist architect’s legacy. Rabble-rousing performance artist William Pope.L was no exception: While inaugurating his installation and performance Corbu Pops, 2009, with a peripatetic address, Pope.L childishly tossed pieces of paper (presumably his notes) onto the auditorium floor.

In seeking to unsettle the relations of power that inevitably frame any interface between master and interloping apprentice, Pope.L not only infantilized himself but repeatedly reduced “Pops” to puerility. In the ensuing performance, for example, Harvard students dressed in black and donning Corbu baby masks (with chubby cheeks, a blond tuft of hair, and signature owl-eye glasses) poked their heads through a puppet stage while ululating, grunting, and squealing a chorus of nonsense

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