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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

Nick Cave, Crazy Genius

UPDATE: A reader very kindly pointed out that the soundsuits are created by Nick Cave, an artist and educator based in Chicago, NOT by Nick Cave, the awesome singer/songwriter/musician whose music with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is part of the regular soundtrack of my life. Which is kind of a bummer … the docent I spoke with about the upcoming exhibit when we were at the museum had assured me that this was indeed THAT Nick Cave and he was also very excited about that, but apparently he was misinformed, as was I. Not that it’s his fault, I should have researched further than the SAM website and not just assumed. So, mea culpa.

BUT! The soundsuits are still amazingly cool, and from what I’ve seen they look even cooler in motion when they’re being worn for parades or dancing or what have you than how they look just standing there in stasis in the museum. So hopefully there will be some of that tied in with the Seattle exhibit as well. Post updated to reflect which Nick Cave is which.

The Seattle Art Museum is slated to have an exhibit in March called Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth, which will feature Cave’s “Soundsuits.” What’s a soundsuit? Don’t feel bad, I didn’t know either. We saw a few samples in the African Gallery when we were at SAM to check out the Picasso exhibit this weekend and they are craaaaazy, but in a good way. Here’s a description from the SAM website:

Nick Cave tailors suits that are sculpture, clothing characters that spring out of his imagination. Stately guardians preside in shaggy, day-glow pink hair; polar bears wear sweaters that stick out in humorous places; and dancers are adorned with white beaded filigree crowns. Suits like this have never been seen before. Partly this is due to his choice of improbable materials—buttons, plastic tabs, hot pads, metal flowers, sandwich bags, spinning tops and crocheted doilies—which are used to make visually fierce and impeccably detailed suits.

For more info on Nick Cave’s Soundsuits, including other Soundsuit exhibits and sightings, you can check out this website.

The exhibit runs March 10–June 5, 2011 — which, lucky for you, happily coincides with the Seattle International Film Festival, which runs May 19-June 12. And if you don’t come up to Seattle for our film festival, well, you are seriously missing out, because SIFF would be one of my favorite fests even if I didn’t live here and get to take advantage of all six glorious weeks of it (25 days of fest proper, plus three weeks of press screenings leading up to it). It’s a great time of year to be in Seattle, and now on top of the film fest you get to see some crazy, wonderful, imaginative soundsuits. Awesome.

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One Response to “Nick Cave, Crazy Genius”

  1. Ann Fredericks says:

    Nic Cave,

    Show me how to continue … I will follow you to the center of the earth!

    I was a young teacher in a K.C. public school when I first saw you dance. I was moved to tears then and I’m moved now.

    Think Spring … dream PEACE

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon