Nick Cave & gun violence: His ambitious exhibition Until

Portrait of Nick Cave in front of his installation Until at Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia
Portrait of Nick Cave in front of his sculpture Crystal Cloudscape at the exhibition Until at Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 23 Nov 2018 – 3 Mar 2019
Photo: Daniel Boud

Introduction

According to 2017 police records, 900 incidents of gun violence have taken place from the start of the year. For many people, this is just news which seems normal and out there. For artist Nick Cave, it is an issue of deep concern and the best way to embrace those who go through it every day, especially the families is art. In his most recent exhibition, Nick has created a multi-part installation that requires moving through the huge hall at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts for the complete picture.

Nick Cave’s ‘Until’

In the installation, Nick puts together different environments that he represents by the use of colorful tchotchkes, crystals, chandeliers to a garden made from faux with ceramic birds and everything you would expect to find in a garden. For Cave, this setup is like being in the belly of one of his sound-suits. He made the sound suits in 1992 as a response to the public beating that Rodney King of Los Angeles suffered at the hands of the police. He had been using the colorful full-body garments to make a statement against black brutality in the United States, but that does not seem to be enough.

Nick Cave - Until
Portrait of Nick Cave in front of his installation Until at Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 23 Nov 2018 – 3 Mar 2019
Photo: vogue.com

What motivated Cave to create this work?

Now, more than 20 years later, he has seen the level of violence against people of color and being an artist decided to confront issues more head-on. Such great sentiment can only be held by someone who has been at the center of the violence and that has been Cave’s life. As a citizen of the United States, his interest lies not in the history that has been recorded so far but on action taken so far to ensure that it never happens again. This is the basis on which Until was created and in a way manifests the urgency with which the situation must be handled. The sheer scale of the project is sensational owing to its magical sight and beauty yet beneath it is a message that is not as pretty.

Video: Nick Cave speaks about ‘Until’

5min 6sec

Conclusion

Cave, through this project, has set the stage for other members of the community and beyond to get involved in this difficult conversation. For him, it is not enough to paint the pictures of the devastation that exists when violence is inflicted; the dialogue is needed in the same way that town hall gatherings are used to address social issues. There are already a number of collaborators that are using Until to make their contribution to shun violence; books have been published on the issue and songs sung to bring attention to the rot. Until this state of affairs takes a turn for the better, Cave and all those who believe in his work will not relent.

Exhibition photos: ‘Crystal Cloudscape’

Nick Cave - Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level
Nick Cave – Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 23 Nov 2018 – 3 Mar 2019
Photo: Zan Wimberley

Nick Cave - Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, MASS MoCA, 15 Oct 2016 - 4 Sep 2017
Nick Cave – Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, MASS MoCA, 15 Oct 2016 – 4 Sep 2017

Nick Cave - Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia
Nick Cave – Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 23 Nov 2018 – 3 Mar 2019
Photo: Daniel Boud

Nick Cave - Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, MASS MoCA, 15 Oct 2016 - 4 Sep 2017
Nick Cave – Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, MASS MoCA, 15 Oct 2016 – 4 Sep 2017

Nick Cave - Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, MASS MoCA, 15 Oct 2016 - 4 Sep 2017
Nick Cave – Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, MASS MoCA, 15 Oct 2016 – 4 Sep 2017

Detail of Nick Cave - Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level
Detail of Nick Cave – Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level
Photo: Stephanie Stefanovic

Nick Cave - Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia
Nick Cave – Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 23 Nov 2018 – 3 Mar 2019
Photo: Puffles and Honey/pufflesandhoneyadventures.wordpress.com

Nick Cave - Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia
Top view of Nick Cave – Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 23 Nov 2018 – 3 Mar 2019
Photo: Puffles and Honey/pufflesandhoneyadventures.wordpress.com

Nick Cave - Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level
Top view of Nick Cave – Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 23 Nov 2018 – 3 Mar 2019
Photo: Zan Wimberley

Top view of Nick Cave – Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level
Top view of Nick Cave – Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, MASS MoCA, 15 Oct 2016 – 4 Sep 2017

Top view of Nick Cave – Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level
Top view of Nick Cave – Crystal Cloudscape, thousands of crystals, beads, found objects and a few chandeliers, 12m long, 6m wide, with four ladders to view artwork from top level, MASS MoCA, 15 Oct 2016 – 4 Sep 2017

Exhibition photos: ‘Hy-Dyve’

Nick Cave - Hy-Dyve, 14-channel video installation, Kansas City
Nick Cave – Hy-Dyve, 14-channel video installation, Kansas City
Photo: Brian-Rice

Nick Cave - Hy-Dyve, 14-channel video installation
Nick Cave – Hy-Dyve, 14-channel video installation
Photo: Puffles and Honey/pufflesandhoneyadventures.wordpress.com

Exhibition photo: ‘Flow/Blow’

Nick Cave - Flow/Blow
Nick Cave – Flow/Blow, fan propelled wall of shimmering mylar filament
Photo: Puffles and Honey/pufflesandhoneyadventures.wordpress.com

Exhibition photos: ‘Kinetic Spinner Forest’

Nick Cave - Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments
Nick Cave – Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments

Nick Cave - Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments
Nick Cave – Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments

Nick Cave - Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments
Nick Cave – Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments

Nick Cave - Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments
Nick Cave – Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments

Nick Cave - Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments
Nick Cave – Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments

Nick Cave - Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments
Nick Cave – Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 23 Nov 2018 – 3 Mar 2019
Photo: Zan Wimberley

Detail of Nick Cave - Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments
Detail of Nick Cave’s – Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments

Nick Cave – Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments
Detail of Nick Cave’s – Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments

Nick Cave - Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments
Nick Cave in his Kinetic Spinner Forest, 16,000 hanging mobiles made from metallic spinning garden ornaments, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 23 Nov 2018 – 3 Mar 2019
Photo: Daniel Boud

Exhibition photos: ‘Beaded Cliff Wall’

Nick Cave - Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand
Nick Cave – Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 23 Nov 2018 – 3 Mar 2019
Photo: Daniel Boud

Nick Cave - Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand
Nick Cave – Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand, MASS MoCA, 15 Oct 2016 – 4 Sep 2017

Nick Cave - Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand
Nick Cave – Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand, MASS MoCA, 15 Oct 2016 – 4 Sep 2017

Nick Cave - Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand
Nick Cave – Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand, MASS MoCA, 15 Oct 2016 – 4 Sep 2017

Nick Cave - Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand
Nick Cave – Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand, MASS MoCA, 15 Oct 2016 – 4 Sep 2017

Detail of Nick Cave - Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand
Detail of Nick Cave – Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand, MASS MoCA, 15 Oct 2016 – 4 Sep 2017
Photo: Stephanie Stefanovic

Nick Cave - Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand
Nick Cave in front of his Beaded Cliff Wall, millions of pony beads threaded onto shoelaces by hand, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 23 Nov 2018 – 3 Mar 2019
Photo: Zan Wimberley

All images: Nick Cave/nickcave.com & Carriageworks/carriageworks.com.au & James Prinz/jamesprinzphotography.com for Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art/massmoca.org unless otherwise noted.

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