It’s the first thing you see when you enter Ruffneck Constructivists, Kara Walker’s selection of artists whose work posits a Black Architecture, to use her term. William Pope.L confronts us with an enormous wall, thirty six feet wide and fifteen feet tall, painted with Benjamin Moore home decorating colors (half the wall apricot and half peach), gridded in pencil with a slice of baloney tacked to each square on the grid.
Every slice holds a small photograph: a black and white portrait glued to the meat with a glob of white paint. All manner of faces appear, a blend of the city’s ethnicities, if not of all its age groups. The baloney, which has been hanging on the wall for about ten weeks at the time of this writing, is dry, curling, shredding, peeling apart. Together with the photographs they become gruesome ID badges, pinned like miniature crucifixions.—Daniel Gerwin