LEWISTON – The Bates College Museum of Art will present the “Black Factory,” an installation by nationally acclaimed visual and performance artist William Pope.L, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 6, at the Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell St.

The recipient this spring of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship, Pope.L is known for his provocative explorations of culture and consumerism. The Black Factory is his most participatory, community-oriented project yet, aiming to re-energize discussions about race in America by inviting people to share objects that represent “blackness” to them.

During the past year at locations, including Bates, where he has been a lecturer in the Department of Theater and Rhetoric for 12 years, Pope.L held events to collect such items from the public. The objects are incorporated into the Black Factory installation, a truck equipped to manipulate and present the objects in various ways.

Starting May 31, the Black Factory will appear at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, in a group exhibition titled “The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere.” For more information about the exhibit, visit the MassMoCA home page, http://www.massmoca.org/index.html.

Working in sculpture, performance and installations, Pope.L has challenged his audiences to confront and re-examine American notions about race, class, pop culture and consumerism. His work has been recognized by a host of awards.

In Maine, Pope.L may be best-known for “eRacism,” a retrospective exhibition at the Maine College of Art that later toured to Texas, Oregon and New York.


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