Nick Cave

Soundsuit

Soundsuit by Nick Cave
Soundsuit by Nick Cave

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Chicago-based African American artist Nick Cave (b. 1959) produces work across many mediums, including sculpture, textile, installation, video, and performance. His works are entrancingly optimistic and borrow their performative elements from dance (the artist trained with Alvin Ailey Dance Company) as well as ceremony, ritual, carnival and haute couture. While vividly appealing and optically intoxicating, the works speak to issues surrounding identity and social justice, specifically race, violence, and civic responsibility.

Cave is most celebrated for his wearable costume-like sculptures named Soundsuits, because of the noise made when they move. This series remains a response by the artist to the 1991 beating of Rodney King by the Los Angeles Police Department. As an African American man, Cave felt particularly vulnerable after the incident and his Soundsuits were created to form seductive camouflage or dazzling armour as a mode of protection from profiling by concealing race, gender, and class.

Title
Soundsuit
Artist/creator
Production date
2008
Medium
mixed media including vintage textile and sequined appliques, knitted yarn, metal and mannequin
Dimensions
2457 x 691 x 411 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland Art Gallery Foundation Annual Appeal, 2018
Accession no
2018/28
Other ID
NC08 003 Reference number (external institution)
Copyright
Copying restrictions apply
Department
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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