In 1930, Australian prospectors looking for gold in New Guinea made contact with the indigenous tribes for the first time. Those first interactions were captured on film, and the cover of First Contact, the 1983 documentary that chronicles that interaction, shows an indigenous man wearing a headdress made of a discarded box of Kellogg’s cereal — the tribesmen apparently thought the mysterious white men were ghostly ancestors, and treated their garbage like sacred relics.
That’s always the image that comes to mind when I consider the Soundsuits of Chicago-based artist Nick Cave (not to be confused with the Australian musician of Bad Seeds fame). The pieces are exactly what I imagine an unfamiliar shaman might make out of contemporary cultural signifiers. They're tribal mascots with Day-Glo fur, Seussian appendages, and an almost unimaginable amount of surrealistic adornment.
Fresh off an acclaimed solo show at the important Mary Boone Gallery in New York, Cave is coming to Nashville to give a lecture at Lipscomb. He is an extraordinarily significant artist, and his work merges sculpture, performance art and dance (Cave trained under Alvin Ailey) in a way that is exquisitely singular. You don’t want to miss this event.