DECLARATION OF GWAR
The figures in, Declaration of GWAR, a new installation created for the ICA, enact a scene that has played out at many GWAR concerts: a staged conflict between “protesters” and members of the legendary Richmond-based metal band. GWAR was formed by musicians and former VCUarts students who created alter-egos, performing as hyper-masculine alien invaders bent on destroying the world. While wearing grotesque, elaborately handmade costumes they enact satirically violent and evenhandedly offensive attacks on all kinds of norms and institutions, from art school to the church to the political status quo. The backdrop is covered with copies of vintage and recent ephemera from GWAR’s archive.
Declaration of GWAR, 2018. Mixed-media installation including costumes and ephemera. Courtesy of the artists
2nd Floor Landing
“GWAR is angry at the state of the world, angry at America, angry at Art! We mistook this new building as a spacecraft for us to escape Earth with! This is the only reason we are here!” –GWAR
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AS AN ARTIST?
ARE THERE DETAILS ABOUT THE WORK YOU’RE SHOWING IN DECLARATION THAT YOU’D ESPECIALLY LIKE AUDIENCES TO PAY ATTENTION TO?
We present a bloody tableau wherein the noble Scumdog warriors defeat the oppressive forces of Religion, Military, and Politics!
DO YOU BELIEVE ART HAS SOCIALLY TRANSFORMATIVE POWER?
We believe in the transformative power of death! Death to life! Death to Art!!
Richmond, Virginia, EST. 1984–Current
Michael Bishop (Blothar) (2014–present)
Mike Derks (Balsac the Jaws of Death) (1988–present)
Brad Roberts (Jizmak Da Gusha) (1989–present)
Jamison Land (Beefcake the Mighty) (2011–present)
Brent Purgason (Pustulus Maximus) (2012–present)
Bob Gorman (Bonesnapper)(1995–1996, 2014–present)
Matt Maguire (Sawborg Destructo)(1995-1996, 2009–present)
Sleazy P. Martini (Don Drakulich) (1985–present)
GWAR is a Richmond based heavy metal band composed of a rotating cast of artists, musicians, and filmmakers. The collective was founded in 1984 with a thematic concept based on an elaborate science-fiction mythology, which claims that the band members are barbaric interplanetary warriors. Their music is known for its violent, sexual, and scatological humor, as well as its social and political satire.
Select Discography: Hell-O (1988); Scumdogs of the Universe (1994); Ragnarok (1995); Carnival of Chaos (1997); America Must Be Destroyed (1992); Violence Has Arrived (2001); Beyond Hell (2006); Lust in Space (2009); Battle Maximus (2013). Film: Mystery Date (1990). Select television and film appearances: Beavis and Butt-head (1994), Empire Records (1995), The Joan Rivers Show (1997), Kids Next Door (2004).