This November, Carriageworks will unveil a major exhibition by acclaimed American artist Nick Cave. According to Carriageworks, NICK CAVE: UNTIL represents the facility’s most substantial presentation of work by a solo artist and Nick Cave’s largest exhibition to date.
A play on the phrase ‘innocent until proven guilty’, or in this case ‘guilty until proven innocent’, UNTIL began with a question that Cave asked himself; ‘Is there racism in heaven?’ Rather than providing a direct answer, Cave offers us an experience, an immersive exhibition that addresses issues of race relations, gender politics and gun violence in America, and the resonance of these matters in communities around the world.
The centrepiece of NICK CAVE: UNTIL is Crystal Cloudscape, a 12m long and 6m wide sculpture, weighing 5000kg, and suspended within the Carriageworks public space. Made primarily from thousands of crystals, beads and found objects, visitors are invited to climb one of four ladders to view the top surface of the work – an uncanny bricolage of objects that reference an American vernacular past and present. Birds, flowers, black-faced lawn jockeys, Christmas decorations and vintage Beams Trophy Whiskey Decanters populate a landscape simultaneously alluring as it is menacing.
Other spaces within UNTIL include Hy-Dyve, an immersive 14 channel video installation, Flow/Blow, a fan-propelled wall of shimmering mylar filament, and the Beaded Cliff Wall, an extraordinary mountainous installation constructed with millions of plastic hair pony beads. In UNTIL the artist has created a space where kinetics and sumptuous materials are interrupted with stark images of guns, bullets and targets, that position us all as culpable, vulnerable and potentially under attack.
Speaking to the artist’s belief that art invigorates communities, NICK CAVE: UNTIL will also be used as a platform for artistic engagement throughout the three-month presentation, including free events including music and performance, alongside panel discussions and community forums. This program of events will see multi-disciplinary artists working across dance, visual arts, music, performance, theatre and literature to respond to the exhibition.