Let There Be GWAR!

« previous image next image »

This recording of Sarah Cunningham's talk Metaphysics of the Creative City was given in conjunction with the exhibition Let There Be GWAR! at Black Iris Gallery Richmond, VA.

As Rolling Stone described, GWAR is one of the world’s most influential art/punk rock bands of all time. “In addition to their grotesque comic book costumes, GWAR spice up their shows with parodies of celebrities and politicians.” Members of the group are part anarchist, part Richmond Boy. GWAR is a theatrical performing band with a devoted cult following that has, since the mid 80’s, generated a mind-blowing output from within its own full-spectrum artist collective, The Slave Pit.

Black Iris has been given unprecedented access to mine The Slave Pit Archive, creating the first multi-media retrospective of GWAR’s unique and multi-decade fabulousness, in an all original and visitor-experiential show entitled, Let There Be GWAR!

Birthed out of the regressive womb of The Regan Era, GWAR has remained faithful to its roots as a loosely organized group of squatter-punk-art kids into maturity. According to myth, band members are, "all powerful and immortal," warriors who still unleash a seemingly endless appetite for theatrical violence, sex, drugs and dominion over mortal and uninspired earth. The true story of GWAR and their custom mix of ancient and space-age imagery will be told.

Working with members of The Slave Pit, over 300 objects will be brought together for publicview for the very first time. They include: handwritten lyrics, production drawings, tour ledgers,arrest reports, photography, film, lawsuit transcripts, music videos, set designs, fan letters, acid drawings and album artwork. Alongside these will be more personal items such as never-before-seen storyboards, genitalia molds and handwritten set lists. The personal sketchbooks of visionary members Dave Brockie, Brad Roberts and Bob Goreman are a show highlight.