Destroy All Monsters: Hungry for Death

May 13 – June 11  2010
h. 6.00 pm – 9.30 pm
American Academy in Rome
Via Angelo Masina, 5

We are proud to invite you to the opening of the exhibition Hungry for Death that NERO and DEPART Foundation present this thursday at American Accademy in Rome. Here are some brilliant thoughts by Mike Kelley on the period of transition from progressive rock to punk rock.

Press Release

DEPART Foundation and NERO proudly present Hungry for Death, an exhibition the imaginary of the band Destroy All Monsters, a Michigan collective consisting of Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, Niagara, and Jim Shaw, among others. The exhibition is curated by James Hoff and Cary Loren.

By presenting the work of a collective which in its members included two of the most prominent representatives of the contemporary californian art scene – Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw –  Hungry for Death acts as a prelude to the next major exhibition produced by DEPART Foundation featuring the Los Angeles art scene: titled California Dreaming, the show will be curated by Michael Ned Holte e Aram Moshayed and will open in Rome during the spring 2011.

Hungry For Death celebrates the vision of Destroy All Monsters through an exhibition that showcases posters, flyers, photographs, blueprints, drawings, banners, magazines, records, and various other ephemera culled from the collective’s archive. Hungry for Death emphasizes material produced in the 70s and following the original collective’s reunion in 1996.

Formed at a house party in 1973, Destroy All Monsters played their first gig at a comic book convention—where they were asked to leave after ten minutes—using prepared guitars, a drum machine, tape loops, and various other instruments to create an unorthodox sound of suburban dystopian psyche music that was equal parts Stooges, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Velvet Underground, and Sci-Fi B-movie shtick. Operating in this capacity through 1976, the band’s music was accompanied by performances and films as well as a magazine of the same name (which Loren edited through 1979), consisting mostly of collages and prints inspired by sci-fi movies, underground music, political subcultures, and iconic elements of 60s counterculture as it had filtered through to the collective’s hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan. After the departure of Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw in 1976, Ron Asheton (The Stooges) and Michael Davis (MC5) joined the band and Destroy All Monsters entered a second, punk phase that met with popular success with singles such as Bored/You’re Gonna Die.??In 1995, the original members staged a reunion tour, and since then have appeared in various exhibitions and music festivals. Among the exhibitions in which Destroy All Monsters have been included: “Theater Without Theater”, MOCBA, Barcelona, Spain, (2007); “Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967″, MCA Chicago (2007); “Exhibition and archives” at the Magasin Center for Contemporary Art in Grenoble, France, (2006); and “Art>Music (rock, pop, techno)” at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (2001). At the invitation of Ben Schot and Ronald Corneilson for the “I Rip You, You Rip Me” festival and seminar at the Boijman’s Museum in Rotterdam, DAM began work on the installation and film known as “Strange Früt: Rock Apochrypha an investigation of Detroit culture”. This exhibition was shown and completed in 2000 at COCA (Center on Contemporary Art) in Seattle, WA., and in 2001 at the DAM Collective: Artists Take On Detroit at the Detroit Institute of Arts. This work was also selected for inclusion in the 2002 Whitney Biennial of Art in NYC. In 2006, the “Strange Früt” exhibition and the bands archives traveled to the Magasin Center for Contemporary Art in Grenoble, France.

Destroy All Monsters performed at the “All Tomorrow’s Parties” festivals in Los Angeles as guest artists of Sonic Youth, and in London, UK as guest artists selected by Jake and Dinos Chapman. ??Works by Destroy All Monsters are for sale during the exhibition including posters, books, and ephemera by the collective and its members.

In 1995, the original members staged a reunion tour, and since then have appeared in various exhibitions and  music festivals. Among the exhibitions in which Destroy All Monsters have been included: “Theater Without Theater”, MOCBA, Barcelona, Spain, (2007); “Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967″, MCA Chicago (2007); “Exhibition and archives” at the Magasin Center for Contemporary Art in Grenoble, France, (2006); and “Art>Music (rock, pop, techno)” at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (2001). At the invitation of Ben Schot and Ronald Corneilson for the “I Rip You, You Rip Me” festival and seminar at the Boijman’s Museum in Rotterdam, DAM began work on the installation and film known as “Strange Früt: Rock Apochrypha an investigation of Detroit culture”. This exhibition was shown and completed in 2000 at COCA (Center on Contemporary Art) in Seattle, WA., and in 2001 at the DAM Collective: Artists Take On Detroit at the Detroit Institute of Arts. This work was also selected for inclusion in the 2002 Whitney Biennial of Art in NYC. In 2006, the “Strange Früt” exhibition and the bands archives traveled to the Magasin Center for Contemporary Art in Grenoble, France.

Works by Destroy All Monsters are for sale during the exhibition including posters, books, and ephemera by the collective and its members.

Notes

One of the founding memebers of Destry All Monsters, Cary Loren remains in Detroit, where he is the proprietor of Book Beat, a nationally recognized independent book store specializing in art related subjects. He continues to create music, photography, and independent films.

James Hoff is the co-Founder and editor of Primary Information. He has edited a number of publications, such as 0 To 9: The Complete Magazine 1967-1969, Aram Saroyan: The Complete Minimal Poems, How to Make a Happening by Allan Kaprow and Rock/Music Writings by Dan Graham. He is editor of the upcoming Avalanche Magazine and Notebooks 1967 – 1970 by Lee Lozano, both of which will be published in 2010 on Primary Information. He is the author of a number of artist books, amongst others Topten, published by No Input Books in 2008.