Pope.L: Whispering Campaign
documenta 14, Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany
Athens: April 8, 2017 – July 16, 2017
Kassel: June 10, 2017 – September 17, 2017
Production | Exhibition Grant
William Pope.L, a Chicago-based performance artist known for his interventions in cityscapes, has produced a new work to address the liminal status of refugees and immigrants, specifically for documenta 14. For the first time, documenta, which has taken place every five years in Kassel, Germany since 1955, was also held in a secondary location, Athens, Greece. Pope.L’s VIA-supported project, entitled Whispering Campaign, is a sound installation of whispers emitted through speaker systems, installed both in public spaces and on mobile maintenance trucks, disseminating their content throughout the streets and in restaurants, bars, shopping centers, public transit, and more.
Whispering Campaign first premiered in Athens (April 6) and remained there through July 16, 2017. Simultaneously, the work launched in Kassel on June 10 and remained on display for the respective 100-day duration of documenta 14. Having interviewed migrants in both cities, Pope.L interweaves their stories with local mythology, poetry, and rhythmic, non-narrative elements in his “whispers.” These pre-recorded elements were supplemented by scheduled live performances throughout each 100-day period.