Carl Pope's “The Mind of Cleveland”: It’s a strange place

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Carl Pope travels inside the mind of Cleveland, and finds visions of Charles Nagy and lots of encased meats.
For a video that was shown in New York’s Whitney in 2000, artist Carl Pope had his body branded, carved, and tattooed with a poem written by his sister. According to the New York Times—we’re going to take a pass on interpreting this ourselves—it was “endurance art” that “spoke directly to a history of violation by slavery, written in scars on black bodies.” The New Art Examiner—kind of the Tiger Beat for the cubed-cheese crowd—called him the “quintessential post-mainstream artist.” This guy, in other words, is hot shit. Despite—or perhaps because of—that, he might seem a strange choice for Case Western and the Cleveland Institute of Art’s commissioned project “The Mind of Cleveland.” What would a high-faluting art-world superstar know about the brain of a decaying steel city in which he doesn’t even live? Turns out, Pope was the artist for the job—and he did the project justice by letting Clevelanders do the talking. ...