The Black Factory Tour, 2005.
The Black Factory, artist William Pope.L’s art performance action installation on wheels, sails off on its final voyage, traveling from Maine to the Rocky Mountains sowing provocation and discussion on race, difference and community across the heartland. It visits Newark at Washington Park on July 20, co-sponsored by Aljira, City Without Walls, and The Newark Museum.
The Black Factory, a mobile social service experiment, requires the participation of an audience to do its work. Typically the Factory caravan arrives at a town or roadside and sets up shop right then and there. The three person crew canvasses the neighborhood to stir up interest. Over the eight hour performance, they stop people on the street, feed them, cajole them and provoke them all in the name of forging a new dialogue about race and community in America. People respond variously. Some argue. Some sing and dance. Some walk away. Some donate their favorite black object to the factory’s archive, and some visit the factory’s gift shop and obtain a trinket whose profits support a local charity.
William Pope.L is a multi-disciplinary installation performance artist and educator. He participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial 2002, and has garnered recent acclaim because of his three year traveling retrospective ‘eRacism’ and the accompanying monograph ‘The Friendliest Black Artist in America’. Pope.L is a 2005 Guggenheim fellow and is currently the featured American artist at the Dakar Biennial 2006.