Fort Mason's Festival Pavilion, built in 1912 to warehouse army supplies and provide docking space for army transport ships, is the site of Haigood's new work "Port of Embarkation."
The work is first in a series that honor the wartime history at Fort Mason and uses the 50,000 sq. ft. empty space along with simple objects, both static and aerial, to create a poetic landscape that evokes memory, mystery and loss.
The Festival Pavilion, originally known as Pier 3 at the Port of Embarkation, was built in 1912 and was used to warehouse army supplies and provide docking space for army transport ships. From the 1920s through World War II, the San Francisco Port of Embarkation played a critical role in the movement of supplies and troops to the Pacific. It functioned as the nerve center of a vast network of shipping facilities that spread throughout the Bay Area. The numbers of men and supplies that passed through the San Francisco Port of Embarkation were enormous. During the 45 months of war, 1,647,174 passengers and 23,589,472 measured tons moved under the San Francisco Port of Embarkation into the Pacific. This total represents two-thirds of all troops sent into the Pacific and more than one-half of all Army cargo moved through West Coast ports.
Much of the content of the performance is drawn from interviews with WW II veterans based in the Bay Area and the personal histories of the collaborating artists, all of whom have ties to the Army and the WW II legacy.
This performance is intended be the first of a series of works that interpret the wartime history at Fort Mason. If you would like to support the development of this work in any way, please contact Joanna Haigood at firstname.lastname@example.org.