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Nick Cave, sculptor, dancer, and performance artist makes waves in Detroit this year. “Here Hear” is the “biggest baddest performance series to date” according to the Cranbrook Art Museum, who organized exhibition on view now through October 11. Cave, now the director of the graduate fashion program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, returns to his roots and to the city that jumpstarted his successful art career with an ambitious cultural showcase. Pop-up photo shoots, live performances, public processions, and community workshops coincide with the show to invigorate the community’s creativity and imagination. “Nick Cave’s return begins with his past connection to the city, but it is fueled by an enthusiasm for the future of Detroit,” said museum curator Laura Mott.
Well-known for his Soundsuits collection, the wearable fabric sculptures are bright, whimsical, and otherworldly, resembling African ceremonial costumes and masks. His first Soundsuit was exhibited in response to the Rodney King beating, the suit served as an emotional shield that protects one race or gender. The main gallery of the Cranbrook Art Museum will have 30 suits on display alongside seven other commissioned artworks inspired by Cave’s childhood, a series of projected videos, and other work.
“Map in action” serves as a living document of the whole project with a series of performances held around the city of Detroit. The “Block Party” performances will be held in the Brightmoor and Old Redford art communities where Cave hopes to create a “collective dreaming.” Later this fall “Dance Labs” will start at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit when Cave will work with LBGTQ young adults and high school students for his performances, including a public event at the Masonic Temple of Detroit. “My goal is to work with these groups and those who live in and love the city to reimagine Detroit as an always-surprising environment of creativity, excitement, and engagement. My dreams for the city are big, because I believe it is important for Detroit to be dreaming ambitiously at this moment about its own future,” said Cave.