Nick Cave (American, b. 1959) is an internationally-renowned artist living and working in Chicago. As an artist, an educator, and foremost a messenger, Cave works between the visual and performing arts through a wide range of mediums including sculpture, installation, video, sound, and performance. Cave is well known for his soundsuits, sculptural forms based on the scale of his body, which he states are “full body suits constructed of materials that rattle with movement…like a coat of armor, they embellish the body while protecting the wearer from outside culture.”
Cave created his first soundsuit in response to the Rodney King beating in LA in 1992. Creating a second skin that conceals race, gender, and class, soundsuits camouflage the body, forcing viewers to look without bias or judgment. While Cave’s iconic soundsuits are intentionally meant to defy immediate categorization, they certainly speak to cultural traditions such as costuming and masquerading, particularly in the construction of African American identity.
The exhibition at Telfair Museums features a selection of soundsuits made in the past decade, as well as two tondos—large circular works evoking the night sky and the cosmos—and two recent videos documenting the soundsuits and their use in performance. This is the largest presentation of Cave’s work ever displayed in Georgia.
Exhibition overview from museum website