Visual art exhibit exploring issues of identity and social justice.
The Frist Center presents Nick Cave: Feat., a dynamic survey of the noted Chicago-based artist’s practice, on view in the Upper-Level Galleries through June 24, 2018. The exhibition contains an array of engaging works that are broadly accessible to audiences of all ages and backgrounds and, on a deeper level, speak to issues of identity, racial equity, and social justice. Cave will also direct the community-based project Nick Cave: Feat. Nashville, a monumental interdisciplinary performance work featuring local talent that will be presented twice on April 6, 2018.
Nick Cave (b. 1959) produces work in a wide range of mediums, including sculpture, installation, video, and performance. “Cave’s creations, bursting with color and texture, are optical delights that can be enjoyed by everyone,” says Frist Center curator Katie Delmez. “A closer look reveals that they also address racial profiling, gun violence, and civic responsibility.”
His trademark soundsuits, human-shaped sculptural forms composed of a variety of found and repurposed commonplace materials, were initially an artistic response to the beating of Rodney King by policeman in Los Angeles more than twenty-five years ago. “As an African American man, Cave felt particularly vulnerable after the incident, so he formed a type of armor that protected its wearer from profiling by concealing race, gender, and class,” says Delmez. The soundsuits are now part of an ongoing body of work in which items such as buttons, plastic hair-beads, domestic textiles, and vintage toys are upcycled into elaborate assemblages based on the artist’s own body. The series has become a collective army of resistance to profiling and violence, responding not only to police brutality but any crime motivated by hate—from the killing of Emanuel AME church members in Charleston to the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando.
Ten soundsuits (2011–2017), will be displayed runway-style in the first gallery of the exhibition. “The wearable sculptures—visually related to Mardi Gras Indian costumes, African ceremonial attire, and Tibetan folk attire—illustrate how Cave’s practice straddles the visual and performing arts,” says Delmez.
Along with themes of equity and human connectivity, Cave wants his art to spark viewers’ creativity and aspirations. This exhibition’s title, Feat., refers to the exceedingly hard work that goes into attaining success. It also references the terminology used to highlight performers in promotional materials—a nod to Nashville’s creative community.
Through immersive installations, Cave intends to provide a space—away from chaotic contemporary life—where viewers’ imaginations can thrive. The runway of soundsuits will be surrounded by walls covered with thousands of shimmering buttons attached to dark fabric. These Button Walls (2013) are meant to suggest a starry night sky, and memories of gazing at it with his six brothers as a child in rural Missouri.
This exhibition was organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
Source: Frist Center for the Visual Arts
FREE/Frist Center members & Visitors 18 years of age and younger
$9/College Students with ID* & Seniors (65 and older)
$7/Active Military (with current military ID)
$10/Groups of 10 or more (with advance reservation)
*Admission is free for college students with school ID on Thursday and Friday evenings, 5pm-9pm (including Frist Fridays)
Phone: (615) 244-3340
2017/11/10 - 2018/06/24
Additional time info:
The Frist Center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve (2017 only), Christmas, and New Year’s Day
The Café opens at 12 Noon on Sundays, 1 Hour Prior to the Museum’s Opening
Martin ArtQuest closes at 5:30pm on Thursdays & Fridays