Tramway’s Nick Cave is a 60-year-old African American artist and activist who lives and works in Chicago. Renowned for his Soundsuits, ornate figurative sculptures that can be worn and performed, he works across a range of mediums, including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance. This is his first major exhibition in Europe.
Whatever the medium, Cave’s message is always political. His first Soundsuit, made out of twigs, was a direct response to the beating of African American construction worker, Rodney King, by four police officers (three of them white) in Los Angeles in 1991. The beating was filmed by a bystander and the subsequent trial saw the officers concerned acquitted of the charges brought against them. Images of the street riots which followed their acquittal were beamed around the world.
Mere words on a page cannot prepare you for the first sight of this multi-layered show through the double doors of Tramway’s main space.