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Nick Cave wearing Soundsuit, 2003, Michigan Central Station, Detroit, 2015.

Nick Cave

Cranbrook Art Museum

Nick Cave wearing Soundsuit, 2003, Michigan Central Station, Detroit, 2015.

Nick Cave’s work moves fluidly between sculpture, performance, and social practice and explores the African American body as a site of tragedy, as well as a catalyst for change. Focusing primarily on the artist’s work from 2014 and 2015, the Cranbrook Art Museum presented a powerful demonstration of Cave’s incisive critical take on the current sociopolitical climate, while simultaneously evidencing his efforts to assemble alternative communities.

The show, curated by Laura Mott, opened with a selection of twenty-nine Soundsuits, Cave’s signature wildly decorated dreamlike armatures, whose stitched, beaded, buttoned, and toy-festooned forms simultaneously evoke African art, the costumes donned by New Orleans Mardi Gras revelers, contemporary couture by Jean Paul Gaultier, and mass-market consumer ephemera. Ranging from fragile, almost unwearable sculptural works to soft—if

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