Who would pull an 8-ton truck across the city of Cleveland? It turns out that hundreds of Clevelanders would.
Internationally renowned performance artist William Pope.L asked people across Cleveland to manually pull an eight-ton truck for over two days straight, as a durational community performance piece and a testament to the power of shared labor.
Over 1,400 images collected from Clevelanders about what work means to them were projected from the back of the truck as it is pulled over twenty-five miles through the city. Pull! defied the persistent geographic and demographic split between Cleveland’s east and west sides, traveling through a diversity of neighborhoods on both sides of town—from North Collinwood, Glenville, University Circle, Hough, AsiaTown and downtown; to West Park, Clark-Fulton and Ohio City. Residents were able to view images submitted by Clevelanders as the truck was pulled through their neighborhoods.
Pull! was a show of strength that could only happen if thousands of people literally pulled together in a massive act of shared commitment. It celebrated the labor that built Cleveland, a city with a rich and challenging industrial history. It asked every Clevelander, whether they loved or hated their jobs or just couldn’t find one, what work meant to their city.
Pull! took place on June 7-9, 2013, as part of Present & Accounted: A Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Cleveland Performance Art Festival (1988–1999).
Community Forum on Work
Thursday, May 30, 6:30–8:30pm
Neighborhood Leadership Institute
(2nd floor of Broadway United Methodist Church Building)
With the Neighborhood Leadership Institute, Policy Matters Ohio and Neighborhood Connections
Friday, June 7, 9:00 p.m. – Sunday, June 9, 9:00 pm
From the Beachland Ballroom to Market Square Park
Pull! Launch Party
Friday, June 7, 7:00–9:00 pm
15711 Waterloo Road
Featuring the Revolution Brass Band
Pull! Joins Parade the Circle
Saturday, June 8, 12:00–3:00 pm
10820 East Boulevard
Pull! End Party
Sunday, June 9, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Market Square Park
West 25th Street and Lorain Avenue
Featuring Passport Project and the Neil Chastain Quartet
Pull! is made possible by generous support from the 2012 Joyce Awards, the George Gund Foundation, the John P. Murphy Foundation, Neighborhood Connections, Speedpro Imaging, Good Greens, the Distillata Company, Jakprints and FORM, and is produced in partnership with the 25th Anniversary of the Cleveland Performing Arts Festival, 2100 Lakeside, the Beachland Ballroom, Berea Moving & Storage, City Rising Farm, the Cleveland Memory Project, the Cleveland Print Room, Cleveland Public Library, the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, Famicos, Neighborhood Connections, the Neighborhood Leadership Institute, Northeast Shores, Ohio City Incorporated, Parade the Circle, Policy Matters Ohio, St. Paul Community Church, and Tenable Protective Services.