Formed at a house party in 1973, Destroy All Monsters played their first gig at a comic book convention using prepared guitars, a drum machine, tape loops, and various other instruments. They were asked to leave after ten minutes.
Their music was that of the suburban dystopian psyche, an unorthodox sound that was equal parts Stooges, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Velvet Underground, and Sci-Fi B-movie shtick.
Operating in this capacity until 1976, the band’s music was accompanied by performances and films as well as a magazine of the same name. Edited by Loren until 1979, the magazine consisted mostly of collages and prints inspired by sci-fi movies, underground music, political subcultures, and iconic elements of 60s counterculture as such elements 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 collective and Destroy All Monsters entered a second, punk phase that met with popular success with singles such as “Bored / You’re Gonna Die.”
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. The exhibition emphasizes material produced in the 70s and following the original collective’s reunion in 1996.
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).
Destroy All Monsters: Hungry for Death is curated by James Hoff and Cary Loren.