Though we did not arrive inside Spinello Projects' Auto Body exhibition in time to catch Cheryl Pope in the act of obliterating more than 500 water balloons hanging from the ceiling with only her head, a pool of water running out of the Giant Motors Auto Body garage and onto the street revealed she was far along in her act. Driving past looking for a parking spot in a maze of road closures, there stood the intimidating figure of Pope, in a boxer's fight stance, as people crowded the sidewalk to peer inside the garage that will provide the space of the performance and video-based exhibit until this Sunday.
Pope called her performance Up Against, which she debuted in 2010 and often includes her making a pattern in the balloons. This time she wanted to get all the balloons down, and she finished in about 30 minutes, some falling and exploding on spectators. Afterward, she admitted it was easier and went quicker than she expected, crediting years of training and possibly stronger neck muscles.