William Pope.L

William Pope.L

The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago

William Pope.L, skin set drawings: the space between the letters, 2013. Ballpoint, correction fluid, marker and pencil on white art paper, 9 x 11.5 inches.

May 2, 2013

William Pope.L
April 28–June 23, 2013

The Renaissance Society
5811 South Ellis Avenue
Chicago IL 60637


The Renaissance Society presents Forlesen, an exhibition by William Pope.L, on view April 28 through June 23, 2013. In his work, Pope.L investigates how difference is demarcated economically, socially, culturally and politically, most prominently in the opposition between blackness and whiteness. With this project, the artist furthers his exploration through multiple media, including drawings, sculpture and a video installation.

Titled after a short story by the celebrated science fiction writer Gene Wolfe, Forlesen features a ten-foot-high wooden sculpture titled Du Bois Machine, roughly 50 new “skin set” drawings, and a video work of abstract imagery that is derived from bargain-bin VHS tapes—set within an elaborate architectural configuration of the artist’s design. Pope.L was intrigued by the structure of Wolfe’s story, which resembles a parable whose lesson is illustrated symbolically and is wholly open to interpretation. Rather than plot-driven, the short story Forlesen is a string of bizarre episodes that add up to a story only through the reader’s subjective decoding. Pope.L wanted to create an installation with this same effect: the relationship of the artworks within the installation to one another, and ultimately to the exhibition as a whole, is ambiguous and continually in question.

The Renaissance Society is one of the premier contemporary art institutions in the United States. Many of its exhibitions are national debuts, and many have included newly commissioned work. The museum offers educational programs that supplement the exhibition schedule, including concerts, lectures and readings.

The Renaissance Society is located on the campus of the University of Chicago, in Cobb Hall, on the fourth floor. It is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 5pm, and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5pm. Admission is free. Visit www.renaissancesociety.org to learn more about the exhibitions and events.

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May 2, 2013

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