Last night was the opening of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art's fantastic Spoleto offering...
I think it's fair to say that I'm not the only one who was totally blown away by this exhibition. There's just something really spectacular about it... the utter extravagance of the work balanced just perfectly with the simplicity and sterility of the white gallery space. Very very rich. I had the incredible opportunity of being around to help install Chicago artist, Nick Cave's "soundsuits" this week and seriously, all I could think was... "these things are the BOMB!"
Constructed of an eclectic mix of crocheted doilies, shiny sequins, beads, buttons, porcelain birds, glass flowers, human hair, twigs, you name it... Cave's soundsuits are truly a feast for the eyes. His experience and expertise as a fashion/textile designer is quite evident in how he manages to combine these various materials and kooky patterns to create these objects that are nothing short of high, high fashion. The way the mannequins are displayed, on a long white runway of sorts, couldn't be more appropriate. It's like, in entering the exhibition, you are entering a freeze frame of a fun, high-styled, high-energy couture runway show.
And then... you enter the video room in the far back corner of the gallery. While I tend to not have much of an attention span for videos, I found myself completely mesmerized by what I found. There was Nick Cave himself inside of the various soundsuits (worn one at a time) moving and shaking. Cave's history as a dancer with Alvin Ailey has surely influenced this body of work... to a great extent. This is especially apparent when you watch him carefully move within the suits. And as the title suggests, each suit makes a distinct sound when worn. This adds a whole new element to the work. Like I said... it's really quite mesmerizing... and it made me all the more enthusiastic about the show.
The exhibition will be up through the end of June so EVERYONE ought to go and check it out! Curator, Mark Sloan, deserves all kinds of praise for his fantastic pairing of Nick Cave's sounduits with Phyllis Galembo's photographs of west african masquerade. The work of both artists really complements each other to make for a real knock-out exhibition.
9 months ago