Sunday, October 3, 2010

A different Nick Cave

The designer, performer, and dancer Nick Cave is the director of the graduate fashion department here at SAIC. I recently became familiar with his work from seeing posters around school and reading the Bad at Sports blog. His Soundsuits are fabricated from found and collected objects, human hair, and natural materials. They are named for the rustling, crinkling, and whooshing sounds of the material when the costumes are activated by movement, and not because of added sound (which I thought was the case). These costumes are also shown as still, sculptural objects, which I imagine changes the whimsy (knowing there is a human underneath) into sleeping-giant creepiness (most of the suits are over 8 feet tall).

Below, the same costume:

It's incredible how with one object, Cave is able to create so many cultural and temporal layers. The past is tied with the future - ancient, tribal rituals, textile motifs, and transformative properties of material that in turn transforms person into beast. Then, gender designation is thrown out completely, and he gives us the formidable, faceless, alien-like androgyny we've learned, through science fiction, to attribute to the future.

I am having him as an adviser before my two years are up. Can't. Wait.


  1. gadsby meet him in VA...she loves him.

  2. That's so awesome, Clare. Really love his work. Especially the hair stuff...

  3. his work is amazing! you definitely need him as an advisor!