Installation view of Nick Cave at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston
Though Nick Cave’s Sound Suits appear whimsical with their mishmash of colorful, festive-looking materials, the unconventional, wearable sculptures have a less joyful origin story. Cave, who began his career as a dancer for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, created his first suit in 1992 in reaction to the infamous Rodney King beating. The suit represented a sort of armor to the artist. In his interview with Hi-Fructose Vol. 20, Cave discussed the unexpected psychological transformations that occur when performers don the ornate outfits. The weighty Sound Suits change the wearer’s relationship to gravity, he explained, and alter one’s physical interactions with the world. The Chicago-based artist currently has an exhibition at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. The exhibition will be on view through May 4. Take a look at some photos from the show below.