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140 people will crawl in the street from the West Village to Union Square this Saturday

Written by
Howard Halle

Starting at 9:45am on Saturday, winding up in the gutter will take on literal meaning as 140 complete strangers get on their bellies to crawl in the street while fellow New Yorkers cheer them on. No, this isn’t some mas[s]ochistic exercise: It’s a performance piece orchestrated by the multi-media artist known as Pope.L. Conquest, as it’s called, is part of a series of crawls that Pope.L has undertaken over his 40-year career, though it represents something of a departure, since he previously conducted them on his own.

Organized by the Public Art Fund, Conquest is one of three concurrent Pope.L exhibitions that include an installation at the Whitney as well as a survey at MoMA. For it, the artist has recruited participants who A) reflect the cultural and demographic diversity of New York City and B) are agreeable to “abandoning their physical privilege, embracing their vulnerability and expressing the power of collective expression.” 

© Pope. L., courtesy the artist and Mitchell–Innes & Nash, New York

Working in relays, they will follow a 1.5 mile route that stretches from the Corporal John A. Seravalli Playground in the West Village to the south steps of Union Square, with stops at the NYC AIDS Memorial at St. Vincent’s Triangle and Washington Square Park along the way. You can see a map of the route below, along with a list of recommended viewing locations and times. Though the Public Art Fund cautions that the latter are merely estimates: After all, the procession will be moving along at, well, a crawl.

9:45am–10:45am: Kickoff Event at Corporal John A. Seravalli Playground (West Village)

11:00am–11:45am: NYC AIDS Memorial at St. Vincent’s Triangle

12:30pm–2:15pm: Washington Square Park

2:45pm–3:30pm: Finale line at Union Square Park (South Steps)

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