10. A Literal Group Crawling Performance

POPE.L, The Great White Way, 22 miles, 9 years, 1 street<, 2000-2009, Performance © Pope.L Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York

On September 21st, over 100 participants will be part of artist Pope.L’s group crawl (yes, people literally crawling) a 1.5 mile route from Greenwich Village to Union Square, going through the Washington Square Park arch. This performance art piece is brought to the city from the Public Art Fund, building upon the artist’s previous work dragging himself across urban landscapes, in works the Fund calls “arduous, provocative, absurdist performances and interventions in public spaces.” The Public Art Fund states that “in choosing to give up their physical privilege, participants satirize their own social and political advantage, creating a comic scene of struggle and vulnerability to share with the entire community.”

The group crawl will take over five hours and the performers are selected through an open call to create a group that reflects the diversity of the city. As the Public Art Fund describes, “Participants will be organized in groups of five, with each group crawling one of the 25-block segments that comprise the route. When the first crawler in a group reaches the end of their block, they will be relieved by the first participant in the next group, forming a blocks-long relay that emphasizes the interconnectedness of all people. Participants will be encouraged to crawl in a way that challenges them most and speaks to their ability level, whether military style, hands and knees, or another variation. To further challenge participants, each will crawl with props including a blindfold and flashlight, and will be asked to crawl with one shoe, effectively emphasizing each of their personal struggles, while altering their experience as they crawl together.”