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Conversation Piece

6 Reasons to Collect Nick Cave's Soundsuit Photographs

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6 Reasons to Collect Nick Cave's Soundsuit Photographs
Nick Cave in front of his work. Image via WKSU.org.

1. Born in Missouri, Nick Cave showed an early talent for performance before moving to New York City to dance with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Followed by visual art studies in Missouri and Michigan, Cave's genre-expanding work straddles both dance and visual art to explore the ways that African identity is subsumed into disparate cultural codes.

2. On October 25th, the Mississippi Museum of Art will open an exhibition of the artist's work entitled "Feat"—a reference to "the exceedingly hard work that goes into attaining success (it takes, for example, roughly seven hours to hand-sew just one square foot of a button soundsuit)." 

3. Meanwhile, Cave's first European exhibition is underway in Glasgow at Tramway. The exhibition, entitled "Until," was organized by MASS MoCA and co-produced with Carriageworks in Sydney and Crystal Bridges/The Momentary in Arkansas, and is Cave’s largest and most ambitious project to date.

4. Cave is most well known for his Soundsuits, sculptures that make sound when worn and performed in. According to the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Soundsuits "began as a response to the beating of Rodney King by policemen in Los Angeles more than 25 years ago. As an African-American man, Cave felt particularly vulnerable after the incident, so he formed a type of armor that protected him from profiling by concealing race, gender, and class."

5. Watch a clip from AS IS, a documentary about Cave, to see some of the soundsuits in action:

 

RELATED: Click here to read our interview with Nick Cave about his soundsuits and his Heard NY performance.

6. Though you might not have the space (or the budget) to acquire an original Soudsuit sculpture (they can tower 11 feet tall and cost $150,000), obtaining a Soundsuit color photograph is easier than you might think. For $350, chose one of six editions—or don't and hang the whole series!

[nick-cave-module]

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