Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia 23 Nov 2018 - 03 Mar 2019
Nick Cave, Until, Carriageworks. Image: Zan Wimberley 2018.
– UNTIL to become a platform for artistic engagement with artists and community groups invited to respond to the installation –
Carriageworks unveils its most ambitious visual arts project, a major exhibition by acclaimed American artist Nick Cave, presented free to the public from 23 November 2018 until 3 March 2019. NICK CAVE: UNTIL marks Carriageworks’ most substantial presentation of work by a solo artist and Nick Cave’s largest exhibition to date.
NICK CAVE:UNTIL is the result of a partnership between Carriageworks, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, with the three organisations co-commissioning and co-presenting the project following four years development with the artist. In Australia the exhibition will be seen exclusively at Carriageworks.
A play on the phrase ‘innocent until proven guilty’, or in this case ‘guilty until proven innocent’, UNTIL began with a question 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.
“I view this work as a theatre set, or an elaborate community forum, as much as a work of sculpture,” explains Nick Cave.
The centrepiece of NICK CAVE: UNTIL is Crystal Cloudscape, a 12 metre long and six-metre wide sculpture, weighing over five tonnes, 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 where an uncanny bricolage of objects that reference an American vernacular past and present populate a landscape simultaneously alluring as it is menacing.
Amidst the porcelain birds, money-boxes, ceramic salt and pepper shakers, candelabras, gramophone speakers, soft toys, glass fruit, gold-gilded pigs, life-sized crocodile, holy water receptacles, dandelions, flowers and Beams Trophy Whiskey Decanters are 17 cast-iron ‘Jocko’-style lawn jockeys whose historic roots date to the Jim Crow era of legislated segregation that operated in parts of the United States from 1877-1965. Replacing the lanterns that the lawn jockeys once held, Cave’s ‘Jockos’ hold dreamcatchers that have been fashioned from vintage tennis rackets and beads.
Visitors will be able to view the Crystal Cloudscape from above, climbing one of the four ladders up to the surface of the work, or observing the entirety of the constructed landscape from a viewing platform.
Speaking to the artist’s belief that art invigorates communities, NICK CAVE: UNTIL will also be used as a site for artistic engagement over the three-month presentation, including free events across music and performance, panel discussions and community forums. This program of events has been curated by Carriageworks for the Sydney presentation and will see artists working across dance, visual arts, music, performance, theatre and literature to respond to the exhibition. *See Notes to Editors
Ten artists and collectives have been announced to convene with Cave in a one-day CALL & RESPONSE workshop including, Romance Was Born designers Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett; dancer and visual artist Bhenji Ra; choreographer and dancer Thomas E.S Kelly; singer-songwriter Ngaiire; poet and musician Ileini Kabalan a.k.a. Lay the Mystic; singer-songwriter Mojo Juju; chef Kylie Kwong; Mooghalin Artistic Director Lillian Shearer; filmmaker Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore; artist and writer Atong Atem.
Bloomberg Philanthropies is a Community Partner of NICK CAVE: UNTIL. This project is proudly supported by Sydney Festival and media partners The New York Times.