Pope.L Egg Eating Contest (Basement version) 1990

“Being black and male today in America is, for me, a consumer’s hell on earth. How much am I worth?” Egg Eating Contest addresses various modes of consumption—digestive, economic, sexual, and optical—through object manipulation and a monologue delivered by Pope.L’s prophet-like alter ego, Mr. Poots.

In Egg Eating Contest (basement version), excerpted in the video seen here, the artist delivers a satirical speech that skewers patriarchy and racism while connecting the power dynamics of schoolyard squabbles to the historic racial violence of American slavery. At one point in the video, Pope.L, drawing with a marker, extends the height of a large cartoon phallus, exaggerating its size. He then tears the drawing away to reveal another cartoonish sketch of a penis, this time depicted wearing a bowtie. The video ends as a second performer enters, picks up a power cord, and plugs it into Mr. Poot’s jumpsuit, electrocuting him.

Gallery label from October 21, 2019–February 1, 2020
Medium
Video (color, sound; 8:04 min.); five inkjet prints; two works on paper; polyester jumpsuit, and cotton and polyester bra
Credit
Acquired in part through the generosity of Jill and Peter Kraus, Anne and Joel S. Ehrenkranz, The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, The Jill and Peter Kraus Media and Performance Acquisition Fund, and Jill and Peter Kraus in honor of Michael Lynne
Object number
83.2019.1-10
Copyright
© 2019 Pope.L. Courtesy of the artist.
Department
Media and Performance
Research in progress; information about this work may be incomplete.

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.