Nick Cave
Soundsuit, 2010
Mixed media
Est: 97 x 48 x 42 inches
Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Nick Cave makes his Soundsuits from cast-off goods and clothing scavenged from thrift stores, flea markets, auctions, art fairs, and junkyards. Drawing on his experience as both fiber artist and dancer, he assembles each suit with attention to both design and function. While the Soundsuits can work as freestanding sculptures, Cave intends for them to be worn. He has staged numerous events in which the Soundsuits become moveable collages of material and history, each "enacted" by a performer who takes on its unique character. Once a performer is inside the suit, he or she breathes life into the artwork, animating the suit through movement and sound. While the suits often appear playful, Cave maintains that the playfulness of the performance is itself a masquerade—a strategy that can disguise darker issues of racial prejudice and social injustice.

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