Advice to the Young
"Knowing what you’re doing is overrated."
American artist Pope.L. shares stories of his own struggles as a young artist and his advice for the younger generation. Read more …
As a student, Pope.L. was struggling with finishing a painting. A problem that he didn’t usually face. “Being young, not having much experience, I didn’t realise that this does come up. You can’t solve every problem,” he says. At the time, his professor’s advice was yelled across the classroom to him: “Write on it.” Which he did.
“If I had one thing to say to artists, it would be to be patient. And to be ignorant of what you think you know,” Pope.L. says and continues: “If you don’t get the answer that you were expecting, maybe that’s a good thing. Knowing what you’re doing is overrated.”
Pope.L. (also known as William Pope.L., born in 1955 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American visual artist best known for his work in performance art and interventionist public art. He has also produced art in painting, photography and theatre. He was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial and is a Guggenheim Fellow and a recipient of the Creative Capital Visual Arts Award. Pope.L. was also included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. Recent exhibitions, performances, and projects include Between A Figure and A Letter at Schinkel Pavillion, Berlin (2022); Misconceptions at Portikus, Frankfurt (2021); Four Panels at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York (2021); Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration, a trio of complementary exhibitions of his work in New York organised by the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Public Art Fund (2019), Flint Water Project at What Pipeline, Detroit (2017) and Whispering Campaign at documenta 14, Athens and Kassel (2017).
Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen interviewed Pope.L. in his studio in Chicago in February 2023.
Camera: Sean Hanley
Edited and produced by: Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2023.
Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling.
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