Riding on the subway one day I saw an advertisement for an exhibition at Grand Central Station. Marvelous things are always going on here in NYC, but this particular exhibition caught my attention as it was a live performance called “Heard, NY” and
the “creatures” depicted on the poster were fascinating. Segue to the visual artist Nick Cave, and I just need to give you the high/low on this fascinating artist and this wonderful performance which I enjoyed this week.
Cave’s latest performance, “Heard, NY,” done in conjunction with Creative Time and MTA Arts for Transit (see post ) at Grand Central Station in NYC…a feat in itself…played off of the idea of people/ horses functioning in herds as they move around in their daily life and how they needed to take a moment to stop and let their imaginations take over. Each “horse” was composed of tons of plastic raffia and manipulated by two dancers from the school of the Ailey Dance Company.
His claim to fame are the outstanding “Soundsuits” he designs which are basically highly elaborate costumes for his dancers to wear during the performances. Composed of a myriad of materials, some found/ recycled, some theatrical, his creations take on a life of their own.
Extremely imaginative and fantastical, they are part ceremonial and part figurative. Much like any costume can transcend reality, Cave’s Soundsuits allow the performers to dazzle the audience with capricious visions of an imaginary world.
Viewers got to see the Soundsuits in their inanimate state and then with the dancers in them moving around to live music. The goal was to force people to break up the daily routine they are so focused on in their day to day existence and to take a moment to escape into the dream world of fantasy, in order to regroup and think of alternative ways of existing. Definitely lofty…but inspiring.
Keep your eyes and ears out for future performances by Cave. In the mean time you can catch a portion of the “Heard, NY” performance in this video from BLOUINARTINFO:
A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT NICK CAVE AND HIS ART: Cave has an extensive background in art and dance. He studied both at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and trained with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and infuses his creations and art performances with a little bit of both. His reference to African culture, i.e., the use of masks and symbolic figures, is purposeful in Cave’s creations. However, with a positive undertone and attitude permeating the performance , the delightful creatures behave with freedom and abandonment making the performances highly irresistible.
Well, being that my life is so stuffed with escapes into the world of beauty and design, Cave’s art performance was just another infusion of all things wild and wonderful into this lady’s soul. Too bad it was only on for a week…I think this “art penicillin” is perfect for so many of us so caught up in the daily grind and unable to take a moment to enjoy that flight of fantasy that refuels the inner being and allows us to soar to new heights.
FYI: I’ve included several other Soundsuits created by Cave in this post so you can get an idea of the intricacy of his designs, and really appreciate the talent and imagination of this man. Personally, I think the costumes are simply marvelous!
Ciao, ciao ’til next time!