Hungry for Death, an exhibition of ephemera culled from the archive of Destroy All Monsters (DAM), an influential Michigan artist collective/band that included Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, Niagara, and Jim Shaw, and others will be presented by the DEPART Foundation and NERO Magazine at the American Academy in Rome.
DAM created unorthodox music inspired by The Stooges, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, the Velvet Underground and Sci-Fi B movies. The exhibition celebrates DAM’s vision and outsider beliefs and conveys the influences that drove DAM’s artistic expression by presenting posters, flyers, photographs, blueprints, drawings, banners, magazines, and records produced in the 1970s and additional material produced for their reunion in 1996. Hungry for Death is curated by James Hoff and Cary Loren.
In the spring of 2011 in Rome, the DEPART Foundation will present California Dreaming, an exhibition about the contemporary Californian art scene curated by Michael Ned Holte and Aram Moshayed. Hungry for Death is a prelude to this upcoming exhibition because it features two of the most prominent representatives of the contemporary Californian art scene – Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw.
About Destroy All Monsters
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. 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 Cary 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 are: “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.
Organization: DEPART Foundation – NERO Magazine