My Barbarian's “Death Panel Discussion” staging is a segment from its video project, The Night Epi$ode, currently running at the Hammer. The L.A. arts collective observes its 10th year as cultural agitators in this “horror-show debate” exploring its role as curator of nightmares. It's a wry and deadpan take on the place artists enjoy and/or suffer through in modern American life. Before you snort in possibly well-placed derision, remember that reaction is also a part of tonight's performance. The terror of so-called “death panels” that plagued the recent health-care debates recalls the horror at NEA funding for artists through the Bush '80s. It's a parallel that's not lost on My Barbarian as it takes the iron boot of irrational fear and transforms it into a comical soft-shoe routine.

Wed., Jan. 19, 7 p.m., 2011

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