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
Video (color, sound; 8:04 min.); five inkjet prints; two works on paper; polyester jumpsuit, and cotton and polyester bra
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
© 2019 Pope.L. Courtesy of the artist.
Media and Performance
Research in progress; information about this work may be incomplete.

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