3 Aug – 25th Nov 2019
Time: 12.00pm – 5.00pm
Free – Drop-in – no ticket required
Chicago based artist Nick Cave (not the Australian musician) known for his wearable sculptures named ‘Soundsuits’ that hide the race, colour, gender and class of their wearer has now expanded his already mammoth practice by filling the main Tramway gallery with crystal chandeliers and ornaments in his ‘crystal cloudscape’,a weird smiley face and the word POWER on the beaded cliff wall and the majority of the space a kinetic spinner forest comprised of laser cut steel. Referencing Mardi Gras parades as well as shamanism and drag queens Cave has been collecting his culture junk and racist tat for around a decade to turn into his crystal cloudscape which is perched atop four brightly painted yellow ladders that the audience is invited to climb up.
Eclecticism on steroids, this massive array of gutterchunder boldly addresses political themes such as gun culture – 16,000 windspinners weighed down with huge circles of metal,17 cast-iron lawn jockeys and 1 crocodile to name a fraction of the thousands of objects carefully choreographed/arranged all beg the artist’s question which is , ‘Is there rascism in heaven?’ His windspinners have guns precision cut into the steel , some painted bright colours ,others glinting their steely rawness. Other windspinners contain bullets, targets and teardrops.An exhibition that is mesmerizing in its volume and fun in its maximalism
This exhibition reminded me of Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Weather Project’ from The Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall Unilver series sixteen years ago.Though much more minimalist in execution, Eliassson wanted to bring a part of London’s weather system into the building, recreating a unique feeling of warmth unexperienced in such a vast concrete space, so much so that onlookers were sunbathing in the artificial light.Here, at the Tramway, Cave has reinvented all his spending sprees in antique junk shops and brought his cloud into a similar vast environment.This juxtaposition is interesting because Cave’s cloud has the opulence of the upper (class) echelons of the business world and high class living literally supporting the cheap ornaments and Mark Twain Negro memorabilia of the 19th century America. Whether this was intended by the artist or not , it is thoughtprovoking none the less.