Monday, March 25, 2013

Sound and Vision

I've been following Nick Cave (the artist, not the musician) for several years now, but haven't had the opportunity to experience his work in person until this afternoon.  Cave, whose art incorporates elements of performance, dance, costume, and music, is known for his colorful and intricately constructed Soundsuits, which are handcrafted from a variety of found objects, and function both as sculptures alone, and as ritual costumes when worn by performers.  Although Cave has received plenty of love and adulation from the fashion world, appearing in his Soundsuits in multiple magazine editorials, his work goes far beyond the initial eye-catching and entrancing visual appeal that endears him to editors.

At the moment, Cave has a week-long installation at Grand Central Station called HEARD NY, featuring thirty raffia grass horses that rest in repose as statues for most of the day, and then are brought to life for twenty minute performances by dancers from The Ailey School.  The horses, comprised of pairs of dancers moving in unison, trot, prance, graze, beg to be petted, and then, at the cue of a drummer, break into two and dance ecstatically displaying the full vivid movement and wild weirdness of their raffia suits.  For one moment of magical realism, audience members collectively suspended their disbelief to experience a waking dream, an incredible jolt from the monotony of quotidian commuting.  A must see if you're in New York, catch the performance at 11am or 2pm everyday until March 31st.


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