Bay Area Indie Rockers Deerhoof Make SFMOMA Their Stage for 'BAND'


If homage, like imitation, is the sincerest form of flattery, Jean-Luc Godard should welcome BAND, New York-based artist Adam Pendleton’s touring collaboration with San Francisco experimental rockers Deerhoof, which arrives Thursday evening at the city’s Museum of Modern Art.

Godard, who chronicled the Rolling Stones studio sessions that would ultimately produce the lead track of their 1968 classic Beggars Banquet in his documentary Sympathy for the Devil, used early rehearsals of that album’s biggest hit as the backdrop for a series of visual meditations on the Black Panthers, consumerism, Marxism, democracy and the revolutionary spirit of the late ’60s.

In BAND, which Pendleton first introduced as a performance piece at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival, the artist sets a three-channel video tracking Deerhoof's recording of “I Did Crimes for You” (from this year’s acclaimed album Deerhoof vs. Evil) against a background every bit as provocative and politically relevant. 

The project’s latest incarnation, to be unveiled at SFMOMA tomorrow at 6 p.m., will include new video of former Black Panther Party Chief of Staff David Hilliard touring landmark Panther sites in Oakland, as well as complementary footage of Deerhoof in performance and an onstage interview with Hilliard.

Pendleton’s goal? A full-scale contemporary refashioning of Sympathy, using Godard’s belief that “radical formal complexity can undermine the bourgeois logic implicit to narrative filmmaking” as the starting point for a revamped deconstruction of music and cinema. Admission to the performance is free with museum admission. For more information, visit SFMOMA online.

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