Soundsuit

Copied Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2010, fabric, beads, and sequins, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Fleur S. Bresler, 2021.48.1, © Nick Cave. Photo by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Artwork Details

Title
Soundsuit
Artist
Date
2010
Copyright
© Nick Cave. Photo by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Credit Line
Gift of Fleur S. Bresler
Mediums
Mediums Description
fabric, beads, and sequins
Keywords
  • Dress
Object Number
2021.48.1

Artwork Description

Trained as a fiber artist and dancer, Nick Cave named his ongoing series of Soundsuits for the rustling he heard as he moved around in his first suit.

 

In the aftermath of the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers in 1991, Cave imagined these Soundsuits as protective shields capable of masking a person’s identity. Extravagantly ornamented, the suits also explore the tension between “low craft” and “high art.” They are often made from found objects and incorporate a wide range of cultural references, from American craft techniques to African dance rituals.

 

This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World, 2022

Exhibitions

Quilt featuring the portrait of a woman
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World
May 13, 2022April 2, 2023
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World showcases the dynamic landscape of American craft today. The exhibition highlights the role that artists play in our world to spark essential conversations, stories of resilience, and methods of activism—showing us a more relational and empathetic world. It centers more expansive definitions and acknowledgments of often-overlooked histories and contributions of women, people of color, and other marginalized communities.