Opening: June 3, 2022 4-6pm
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce our second solo exhibition with Pope.L, The Ritual Is for All of us. Following his trio of critically acclaimed exhibitions, Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Public Art Fund in 2019, this exhibition offers another look at Pope.L’s durational practice in video, projection, objects, and paintings.
The show builds a focus on Pope.L’s practice with four video works and a projection/sculpture titled I Machine, 2014 - 2020. Most of the works have been ongoing from 1995 to 2022. Duration, both in terms of time process and time embodied is key to this presentation.
In an interview for the monograph, member: Pope.L, published by The Museum of Modern Art in 2019, the artist notes that “the link between language and performance is duration; both exist only via the crucible of time and are continually remade in time.” In the exhibition, The Ritual Is For All of us, the link between language, performance, making and duration is set into slippery relation between works that unfold in time (video), works that address the passage and future of time (a set of recent Calendar paintings on paper), and the linkage between time, meaning, materiality, and entropy in a set of canned food objects fromThe Black Factory project, 2004 – ongoing.
Visitors will find the gallery space opened-up, redistributed, vexed, and transformed. A set of sheds resembling one-room shacks re-organize the space into a maze of boxes, alleys, openings, and encounters. The sheds house the video works and I Machine, as well as create path-possibilities that only the visitor can design. A persistent dripping and humming sound haunts the space. On the walls, a set of Skin Set: Calendar paintings on paper, all of which seem to include iterations of the same text in varying levels of legibility, are clearly dated in ballpoint pen. Despite the clear penmanship, the meaning of the dates is not clear – some are many years in the future or past, suggesting an uncertain relationship to time. The work Calendar is paired with cans of “Sainbury’s (UK) low price baked beans in tomato sauce” in hand-made grey compression boxes; one-time products from the mobile participatory archive of The Black Factory. The bean cans bulge and distort under sustained pressure, but do not burst. The potential, the explosion, the energy, is contained, but only just. The Black Factory is a project in which the artist and his collaborators travelled the country collecting “Black objects” from the public. A Black object does not have to be black to refer to Blackness. It’s more about the donor’s personal fantasy of Blackness within the frame of history and ideology. Some of the objects, like the cans of baked beans, were augmented and offered for sale in the Black Factory’s gift shop. The cans have been under pressure since 2005.
 Pope.L, “A conversation with Pope.L,” Comer, Stuart and Danielle A. Jackson. member: Pope.L. The Museum of Modern Art New York, 2019.