Pope.L Times Square Crawl a.k.a. Meditation Square Piece 1978

  • Not on view

This street performance was Pope.L’s first Crawl, a practice that would become a hallmark of his career over the next four decades. In Times Square Crawl, Pope.L lowered himself to his hands and knees and traversed a run-down stretch of West Forty-Second Street then known as the Deuce. Before a massive redevelopment project in the 1990s transformed Times Square into an epicenter of tourism and commerce, the area was notorious for its adult entertainment industry, drug trade, and homeless encampments.

Dressed in a business suit with a yellow square sewn to the back, Pope.L drew curious stares from pedestrians. By “giving up verticality,” the artist insisted on the visibility and value of homeless people, who have counted among their number members of his own family. His professional attire served to underscore the deep rift between aspirations of upward mobility and the absence of opportunity for many dispossessed communities in America.

Gallery label from October 21, 2019–February 1, 2020
Five inkjet prints
Each: 10 × 15" (25.4 × 38.1 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of The Jill and Peter Kraus Media and Performance Acquisition Fund, Jill and Peter Kraus, Anne and Joel S. Ehrenkranz, The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, and Jill and Peter Kraus in honor of Michael Lynne
Object number
© 2024 Pope.L. Courtesy of the artist.
Media and Performance

Research in progress; information about this work may be incomplete.

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


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).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].