Cheryl Pope made #Yell_Yell in 2013 as part of a series that addressed youth, racism, and gun violence, including collaborating with Chicago teens to write and perform cheers. The work also can be read more broadly in relation to the current state of public discourse. Reducing complex issues to binary right/wrong positions can be dangerous: note the blood-like pool at the sculpture’s base. But “yelling” can feel necessary, too: a way to rally support and give collective voice to those who have been silent, or silenced, in the past. How might we defuse such conflict, allowing citizens to speak their varied truths while also making space to listen and empathize?
#Yell_Yell, 2013. Plastic, steel, aluminum, and autobody paint. Courtesy of the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
Gallery 4 – True Farr Luck Gallery
“The tension exists in the space between the two megaphones, imitating two figures in a moment of conflict…this piece speaks to the fear of yelling, the fear of confrontation, and the potential outcomes that are possible in a world where no one can be trusted.” –Cheryl Pope
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AS AN ARTIST?
I am motivated by misunderstanding and a yearning to understand and be understood. I am motivated by questions, by asking what is ignored and why. I am motivated by the potential to make poetic objects that engage others to ask and think through an understanding with me.
WHAT DOES THE WORD “DECLARATION”
MEAN TO YOU?
To me, declaration, in relation to my work, is to publicly state and stand in confidence with a position that instigates and gathers community for justice.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE SHOWING YOUR WORK AT THIS MOMENT IN HISTORY? IN THIS LOCATION? AS PART OF THE ICA’S LAUNCH?
I think it is a very significant and important opportunity to exhibit this specific sculpture in Richmond. I think that during my life I have been able to witness a shift in institutional opportunity and inclusion from the inside out and this exhibition and the mission of the ICA prominently demonstrates this shift.
DO YOU BELIEVE ART HAS SOCIALLY TRANSFORMATIVE POWER?
Yes, I believe art embodies a socially transformative power in its ability to mirror or reflect an awareness onto otherwise unseen or unnoticed issues of a contemporary moment. Whether a work is shown in its present time or a future one, it carries the potential to instigate and ignite a deeper inquiry and even change.
Born 1980, Chicago, Illinois: Lives in Chicago, Illinois
Cheryl Pope is an interdisciplinary visual artist whose work confronts issues of identity as it relates to the individual and the community, race, gender, class, history, power, and place. Her practice emerges from the act and politics of listening and exploration across diverse media, including sculpture, installation, assemblage, drawing, video, and performance.
Pope received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Illinois and her MFA in Fashion, Body and Garment from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Select solo exhibitions: Kunsthalle Osnabrueck, Germany (2018); Flux Project in Atlanta, Georgia (2017); Williams Museum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts (2016); and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in Boulder, Colorado (2015). Select group exhibitions: Eastern Illinois University in Bloomington, Illinois (2016); The White House in Washington, D.C (2015), Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, Florida (2015); and the Museum of Art and Architecture in Miami, Florida (2014). Collections include: Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and Honolulu Museum of Art. Select awards: Mellon Fellowship (2016), Cramum Prize (2015), and Nippon Steel Award (2003).