Released February 06, 2013
PEM PRESENTS THE LAST OF NICK CAVE'S SOUNDSUITS
SALEM, MA -- Original and otherworldly, Nick Cave's art blends the boundaries between sculpture, costume, video, dance and public performance in unexpected ways. The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) continues its growing contemporary art program with three never-before-seen Nick Cave Soundsuits made especially for this exhibition, alongside his immersive film projection. FreePort [No. 006]: Nick Cave will be on view at PEM March 2 through May 27, 2013.
Cave's humanoid Soundsuit sculptures are built from a diverse bricolage of found objects and materials collected by the artist, including twigs, sisal, beads, sequins and feathers. When worn, Cave's Soundsuits take on a larger-than-life dimension, obscuring the wearer's identity, gender and class and unleashing the sculpture's kinetic potential. Drawing on his experience with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Cave choreographs performers' movements to activate the Soundsuits' inherent motion and highlight their mesmerizing appeal. Two Soundsuit performance films, Drive-by and Clowning, will be presented in conjunction with this exhibition.
"The physicality of Nick Cave's Soundsuits invites viewers to imagine what it might feel like to inhabit one. Textural, faceless, disorienting and enigmatic, Cave's Soundsuits are whimsical, but project a certain power," says Trevor Smith, PEM's curator of contemporary art. "We are excited to share this groundbreaking artist with our visitors and we hope to expand the definition of what performance art can be."
Cave was born in Fulton, Missouri in 1959. He lives and works in Chicago where he is a professor of fashion design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The three Soundsuits featured in this exhibition are among the last that the artist intends to create. Cave, who since the early 1990s has created more than 500 Soundsuits, plans to explore new artistic avenues.
Each FreePort is an invitation to a contemporary artist to establish a unique dialogue with the museum and its audiences. These artists explore the dynamics of cultural change; their creative expressions open conversations across disciplines critical to the evolution of a 21st-century museum.
Photos by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of Nick Cave and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
Captioned, high-resolution press images are available upon request.
Generous support provided by Fay Chandler. Additional support provided by donors to the 2013 FreePort Fund including Jeffrey P. Beale and by the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.
ABOUT THE PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM
Founded in 1799, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents outstanding works of artistic and cultural creativity in ways that transform people's lives. The museum's collection is among the finest of its kind, showcasing an unrivaled spectrum of American art and architecture as well as outstanding Asian, Asian Export, Native American, African, Oceanic, Maritime and Photography collections. In addition to its vast holding, the museum offers a vibrant schedule of changing exhibitions and an interactive education center. The museum campus features numerous parks, period gardens and 22 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200‐year‐old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. Currently, a comprehensive $650 million Campaign is underway to advance PEM's mission, fortify its endowment, improve infrastructures and build a 175,000-square-foot expansion.
HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm and the third Thursday of every month, 10 am-9:30 pm. Closed Mondays (except holidays), Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
ADMISSION: Adults $15; seniors $13; students $11. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang.
INFO: Call 866‐745‐1876 or visit our Web site at www.pem.org