Hungry for Death
Destroy All Monsters
May 30th - August 29th
Opening Reception, with a performance by C. Spencer Yeh
Saturday, May 30th, 5:00 - 7:00 PM
Printed Matter is pleased to announce Hungry for Death, an exhibition showcasing the work of the band Destroy All Monsters, a Michigan collective consisting of Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, Niagara, and Jim Shaw, among others. The exhibition is on view from May 30th through August 29th at Printed Matter's storefront at 195 Tenth Avenue. The opening reception took place on Saturday, May 30th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM and featured a live set by noted experimental musician C. Spencer Yeh.
Formed at a house party in 1973, Destroy All Monsters' original line-up (as noted above) 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.”
This summer, Printed Matter 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.
In celebration of the exhibition, Printed Matter has released a new Destroy All Monsters album titled DOUBLE SEXTET, on limited edition vinyl. DOUBLE SEXTET was recorded in 1975, but this is the first time it has been released to the public. The Destroy All Monsters collective has also re-issued their seminal 3-CD compilation of recordings, Destroy All Monsters 1974-1976, which was originally released in 1995 on Ecstatic Peace by Thurston Moore and Byron Coley but is now long out-of-print. Several other Destroy All Monsters CDs and multiples have been re-issued and are being offered for sale through Printed Matter. An edition of 250 sets of ‘Monster Masher’ trading cards prepared by Cary Loren features 80 images and collages, and an edition of 150 boxed sets of 13 buttons each contains an original photographic trading card, stickers and a small series of thrift-store tee-shirts.
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).
“Strange Früt: Rock Apochrypha, an investigation of Detroit culture,” began at the "I Rip You, You Rip Me" festival and seminar at the Boymans van Beungen Museum in Rotterdam, The Netherlands (1998), and was shown and completed in 2000 at COCA (Center on Contemporary Art) in Seattle, WA (2000) and “Artists Take On Detroit” at the Detroit Institute of Arts (2001). This work was also selected for inclusion in the 2002 Whitney Biennial of Art in NYC.
Many works by Destroy All Monsters are for sale during the exhibition including dozens of records, posters, books, and ephemera by the collective and its members. DOUBLE SEXTET retails for $16.00. Individual nickel bags of Monster Masher trading cards (created by Cary Loren specifically for this exhibition) are available for $5.00 with the full set retailing for $25.00 (numbered edition of 250). For a full list of available titles by the collective please go to www.printedmatter.org.
Also available is the newly reprinted box set, Destroy All Monsters: 1974 - 1976. This anthology contains all the material in the original box, minus the booklet, which will be available online shortly. This reprint, which retails for $20, is limited to 1,000 copies so get them while you can!
For more information on the exhibition or press images, please contact James Hoff at jhoff @ printedmatter.org.
Printed Matter, Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1976 by artists and art workers with the mission to foster the appreciation, dissemination, and understanding of artists' books and other artists' publications.
Printed Matter, Inc. has received support, in part, through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Altria Group Inc, the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, The Gesso Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Schoenstadt Family Foundation, The Roy and Niuta Titus Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and individuals worldwide.