15 + 16 May 2020 : Rodrigo Ribera D’Ebre

Dark Progressivism
Documentary, 1h 27min
Directed and Produced by RODRIGO RIBERA D’EBRE 
Produced by JAMES L. YI
USA 2015

SCREENING DATE: Friday 15 + Saturday 16 May 2020 – 48 hours available on Vimeo HIER&JETZT: Connection

From the blood on the streets to the walls of the galleries, Los Angeles artists share their experiences with inner city violence and their use of creativity as a form of redemption. Out of the explosion of the crack epidemic, gangs, vandalism, and stepped up police response during the 1980s, a new urban mentality developed. The community’s reaction to police suppression resulted in criminal artistic expression as a form of rebellion against the social ramifications suffered on the streets and a rupture of previous art styles. Narrated through first-hand accounts by artists, journalists, and academics such as: Defer, Prime, Big Sleeps, Gajin Fujita, Chaz Bojorquez, Chris Blatchford, Hector Tobar, Chuey Quintanar, Juan Carlos Munoz Hernandez, Cab, Cryptik, Richard Valdemar and others, this eye-opening documentary tells the story of a local nativist tradition in artwork that helps explain how the dark aspects of the built environment combined with forward-thinking principles have influenced contemporary art. As tattoos, murals, graffiti, and cholo lettering/culture become more mainstream and acceptable to modern society, so does the importance to understand the rich tradition, training, craftsmanship, discipline, scholarship, and trajectory of the dark progressivist art form. Internationally, Los Angeles art and culture is championed for its forward-thinking principles and style, thus, as it gains momentum and artists around the world continue to imitate Los Angeles traditions, it is imperative to demonstrate how it developed.