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"Proving Ground" Anti-Imperialist History of US Bombing Performance

Thursday, April 30, 2009
10:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
SF International Film Fest
Sundance Kabuki Theatre
1881 Post St. @ Fillmore

ANSWER Activist Travis Wilkerson Performs Anti-Imperialist “Proving Ground” at SF Int’l Film Fest
Sundance Kabuki Theater, 1881 Post St. at Geary, SF

Proving Ground is an unabashedly didactic history of U.S. aerial bombing. The end result combines theater, history lecture, punk rock show, political rally, experimental film screening. It represents an attempt not merely to create a work of political art, but rather, politics as art. Above all else, the performance pays tribute to a lost American art form—agitation. Proving Ground first appeared at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007, the first performance art ever to be presented in that festival. Recently, it has reappeared in locales as far afield as dive bars, the PDX film fest, and portions have been presented at mass mobilizations against the war to crowds as large as 10,000.

Click here for more info and to purchase advance tickets.

Click here for Travis Wilkerson’s biography and reviews of “Proving Ground”.

Is now the right time to present a Leninist agitation on the history of American imperialism and war? The answer may depend on whether you believe that things like carpet-bombing, the tactics of decimation and the role of capitalism have something to teach us moving forward. We think it does. Leading the way is filmmaker Travis Wilkerson (An Injury to One, Who Killed Cock Robin?), whose unapologetic diatribe—some might call it screaming—is set against the surprisingly engaging music of death-folk musicians Los Duggans of Los Angeles. Wilkerson mans the Kaptivator, a tiny box filled with images and video intended for use in dance clubs. Wilkerson stocks his toy with visual evidence of the history of worldwide conflict and destruction, and Los Duggans provides the live soundtrack. The result is an intense mixture of theater, punk show, political rally and film screening. No matter which side you are on, you won’t be able to leave this performance without questions, ideas and conversations about the politicization of art or the aestheticization of politics. Proving Ground, first presented at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007, has undergone many changes and incarnations, and the crew is prepared to get back in the saddle and lay it down. You won’t want to miss this rare chance at thought-provoking, enjoyable and powerful political theater.

Los Duggans
With their release CD Cavalry in 2007, Los Duggans appeared to hail from Appalachia, by way of CBGB’s and the Sunset Strip. Featuring “honest music about American working people,” the death folk rockers take American roots music in and send it out as electrified, punk-style metal riffs. Most recently, Los Duggans played at Café du Nord as part of the alternative lineup at the San Francisco Bluegrass and Old-Time Festival. For this performance, Los Duggans performs as a duo with electric guitar, gutbucket and drums and amplification at full volume.

—Sean Uyehara
Added to the calendar on Wed, Apr 29, 2009 10:57PM
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