Nick Cave's Soundsuit Installation Images

Nick Cave made the first garment-sculptures we know as Soundsuits in 1991 in response to the now-infamous amateur video of the racial profiling and beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers. The violent footage had a transformative and emotional impact on Cave. The soundsuits became a way for him to condition his spirit against adversity and to form a “second skin” of protection.

Over the years Cave has continued to push for even more meaning, complexity, and extravagance. The differing—often opposing—front and back of the sculptures represent a kind of double identity in Cave’s work that illustrates his interest in our ability to “step out of ourselves.” Built from found objects, the Soundsuits also become a mirror of our culture’s excess. The once-discarded surplus of society is transformed into objects of desire and human proportion.

Nick Cave: Sojourn is a special ticketed exhibition on view June 9-September 22, 2013.

Nick Cave: Sojourn is organized by the Denver Art Museum. The exhibition is made possible through the significant support of Vicki and Kent Logan, U.S. Bank, and PB&K Family Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the generous donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4, and The Denver Post.

© the artist and courtesy the artist, photo courtesy Denver Art Museum

Army of mannequins destined for the Soundsuits.

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Button pants, funerary wreaths, and mannequins destined for the button arch gallery.

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Artist Nick Cave with Graphic Designer and Cave's Creative Director Bob Faust position a Soundsuit amidst thousands of buttons.

© the artist and courtesy the artist, photo courtesy Denver Art Museum

Buttons pants are on the move with artist Nick Cave, and Graphic Designer and Cave's Creative Director Bob Faust

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Artist Nick Cave, and Graphic Designer and Cave's Creative Director Bob Faust adjusting soundsuit.

© the artist and courtesy the artist, photo courtesy Denver Art Museum

Artist Nick Cave secures one of his Soundsuits to a custom-fabricated see saw, with DAM installation team member, Kevin Hester and Cave Studio Assistant, Holly Kruse.

© the artist and courtesy the artist, photo courtesy Denver Art Museum

Artist Nick Cave and DAM installation team member, Kevin Hester position a Soundsuit.

© the artist and courtesy the artist, photo courtesy Denver Art Museum

Artist Nick Cave with Graphic Designer and Cave's Creative Director, Bob Faust anchor a Soundsuit on the see saw.

© the artist and courtesy the artist, photo courtesy Denver Art Museum

Artist Nick Cave with one of his hair Soundsuits.

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Artist Nick Cave inspecting one of his Soundsuits.

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Detail of upper component of a Soundsuit. Check out the custom-fabricated see saw to see where it's destined to be.

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Artist Nick Cave and Soundsuit

Foreground: Soundsuit , 2013, mixed media including elephant toy box and hook rug, Ostrow Family Collection

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Unpacking and ordering of Soundsuits.

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Rear platform: Soundsuit, 2013, mixed media including elephant toy box and hook rug, Ostrow Family Collection

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Artist Nick Cave eyeing the details, with Cave Studio Assistant Holly Kruse.

© the artist and courtesy the artist, photo courtesy Denver Art Museum

Artist Nick Cave and DAM installation team member installing upper component of a Soundsuit.

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Artist Nick Cave adjusting sequins on one of his Soundsuits, with DAM install team member Kevin Hester and Nick Cave Studio Assistant Holly Kruse.

© the artist and courtesy the artist, photo courtesy Denver Art Museum

Soundsuit installation - from left: DAM Installation team member Kevin Hester; artist Nick Cave; and Nick Cave Studio Assistant Holly Kruse

© the artist and courtesy the artist, photo courtesy Denver Art Museum

From left: DAM install team member Kevin Hester; Nick Cave Studio Assistant Holly Kruse; and artist Nick Cave

Platform, far left: Soundsuit, 2013, mixed media including elephant toy box and hook rug, Ostrow Family Collection

© the artist and courtesy the artist, photo courtesy Denver Art Museum

Final Installation shot of Soundsuit grouping in Anschutz Gallery.

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