Dream City

1983, 5:23 min, color, sound

A video companion to a twenty-four hour group performance organized by Jenkins, Dream City collages live music, poetry, and dance into a pulsating kaleidoscope of color and sound. Frequent Jenkins collaborators Maren Hassinger, Senga Nengudi, and David Hammons appear, as do snippets of chess games, punk shows, and shots of the LA skyline—all set to a hypnotic free improvisation of saxophone, percussion, and voice. Made at the dawn of the Reagan era, Dream City opens to the tune of “My Country ’Tis of Thee” and ends with the inaugural appearance of Jenkins’s “video griot” character, who delivers a prophetic warning against the corporate “stockholders” he deems are holding the country hostage.

Performers: George Abe, Maren Hassinger, Ulysses Jenkins, Jolene Labastida, Louis Lunetta, Jimmy Mack, Linda Mason, Nobuko Miyamoto, Senga Nengudi, Cam Slocum, Roger Trammell, Western Heroes; Guest Performances: Dan Concholar, David Hammons, Lavina Jones, Dream City Ensemble: Andre Burbridge, Harold Hunter, Max Anne Lewis, Eugene Mingus, Eddie Washington; Performed at: Espace DBD, Los Angeles, CA; Video Camera: Rachel Rosenthal, Robert Dale, Ulysses Jenkins; Special Thanks to: LBMA Video: Joe Leonardo, Art Nomura, Stuart Bender; Espace DBD: Rachel Rosenthal