William Pope.L: Desert

William Pope.L wears a towel over his head and often carries his left shoe in his hand throughout his new, 35-minute film Obi Sunt. He wanders through the former mining town of Goldfield, Nevada, revisiting the site of a fight that took place in 1906. “The Fight of the Century,” it pitted a black fighter named Joe Gans against a white one named Oscar Nelson. It lasted 42 rounds, longer than any fight in boxing history, before Gans won. It’s not exactly clear in the film what Pope.L is looking for as he wanders — maybe signs of a forgotten triumph. This show coincides with another of Pope.L’s work in Culver City, at Susanne Vielmetter, and the artist has designed a “directions website” for those who wish to go from one show to the other. Poetic audio clips accompany each turn (“suddenly I know it’s too late, I’m lost in the canopy, alone with ourselves”).

By Catherine Wagley

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