“Nick Cave: Here Hear” to Open at Cranbrook Art Museum on June 20

Nick Cave
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Museum Exhibition and Performance Series Run Through October

Bloomfield Hills, Mich., May 28, 2015 – The stage is being set for Nick Cave’s most ambitious project to date – Nick Cave: Here Hear. The exhibition will open at Cranbrook Art Museum on Saturday, June 20, with a special ArtMembers’ Opening Reception on Friday, June 19. A media preview of the exhibition will be held on June 18 from 10am-noon.

The celebration will continue through the weekend, with a special performance in Detroit’s Brightmoor and Old Redford communities on Sunday, June 21. Join us at 2pm for a screening of Cave’s video work at the historic Redford Theatre, followed by a celebration from 3-6pm at The Artist Village featuring food, music, and dancers in soundsuits – who will join the party in an impromptu flash mob. Both events are free and open to the public.

The Brightmoor celebration is just one of several events Cave is staging over the course of seven months throughout metro Detroit. The performance series kicked off last month when Cave began “invading” the city of Detroit for a series of site-specific photo shoots. He was spotted at locations such as Eastern Market, the Dequindre Cut, the African Bead Museum, and many more. The photos will be published in the forthcoming book, Nick Cave: Greetings From Detroit, which will be available for purchase at Cranbrook Art Museum. The book is designed by Bob Faust, with photographs by Corine Vermeulen and an essay by Laura Mott.

The Exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum

The exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum will begin in the Main Gallery with a collection of approximately 30 sculptural soundsuits, 11 of which are new and on display for the first time. The Museum’s North Gallery is devoted to a newly commissioned installation of nine black and white soundsuits surrounded by a new wall-based tapestry inspired by Cave’s childhood watching the night sky. An additional gallery will feature a selection of his recent wall-based artwork and sculpture, including a new work inspired by Trayvon Martin. Finally, the “Map in Action” room will serve as a hub for the Detroit Performance Series and display the wearable soundsuits that will come and go to performances throughout the city of Detroit. Video footage of the performances will be added to the room throughout the duration of the show, thereby becoming a living document of the entire project. The exhibition is curated by Laura Mott, Curator of Contemporary Art and Design at Cranbrook Art Museum.

The Performance Series

This exhibition is Cave’s first solo exhibition in the state of Michigan, and for him, it was critical to involve the city of Detroit in the project. Cave is a 1989 graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, and he has said the time he spent in Detroit was critical to his growth as an artist. “My goal,” says the artist, “is to work with those who live in and love the city, and to reimagine Detroit as an always-surprising environment of creativity, excitement, and engagement. My dreams for the city are big, because I believe it is important for Detroit to be dreaming ambitiously at this moment about its own future.”

Cave will be using his time in Detroit to engage the area in a philosophy he calls “collective dreaming.”

This will be Cave’s largest performance series to date. He will design Dance Labs in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD); work with LBGTQ young adults from the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park to create the performance Up Right Detroit; and work with students from the Detroit School of Arts and the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy for Heard•Detroit, a procession of 30 life-size horse sculptures operated by 60 high school dancers that will parade along Detroit’s riverfront on Saturday, September 26. Cave’s project will culminate at the end of the exhibition in October, when the artist will stage Figure This: Detroit, a massive public performance at Detroit’s Masonic Temple on Sunday, October 4.

This project has attracted a wide variety of sponsors and community partners who are eager to share Cranbrook Art Museum’s desire to spread creative positivity throughout Detroit. The Presenting Sponsors are the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

The Knight Foundation, through their Knight Arts Challenge Detroit initiative, looks to fund ideas that engage and enrich Detroit through the arts. Cranbrook Art Museum received a matching grant of $150,000 from the Knight Foundation to kick-off this ambitious project. According to Dennis Scholl, vice president of arts for Knight Foundation, “Detroit’s future is being driven by the cultural creatives who have big ideas for their city. It’s an honor to help bring visual artist Nick Cave back to the Michigan, to engage many more people in thinking creatively about their lives, their neighborhoods, their Detroit.”

The Ford Foundation also understands the impact of the creative sector on the city’s restoration. “The creative sector is playing a significant role in the revitalization of the city of Detroit and the power of Nick Cave’s work to transform those who interact with it is limitless,” said Hilary Pennington, Vice President of Education, Creativity and Free Expression at the Ford Foundation. “We believe in The Art of Change to create economies of empathy and build movements on the path to social justice, especially in Detroit.”

Leadership Sponsors include Quicken Loans with their Opportunity Detroit mission and The Kresge Foundation. The Major Sponsor is The Taubman Foundation. Supporting Sponsors include Strategic Staffing Solutions, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Masco Corporation Foundation, Maggie and Bob Allesee, and the Jack Shainman Gallery. Community Partners include the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, the Ruth Ellis Center, Detroit School of Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), and Detroit Public Television.

The ambitious 2015 schedule of events for Nick Cave: Here Hear, includes:

June 19
Nick Cave: Here Hear ArtMembers’ Opening Reception at Cranbrook Art Museum. Memberships may be purchased in advance via our website or at the front desk the evening of the event.
June 20
Nick Cave: Here Hear opens to the public at Cranbrook Art Museum
June 21
A screening of Cave’s video work at the historic Redford Theatre, followed by a celebration at The Artist Village, engaging the Brightmoor, Old Redford and Northwest Detroit communities. Free and open to the public.
JulyUp Right: Detroit. Nick Cave will create a new film featuring a performance with participants from the Ruth Ellis Center. Conceived by Cave as an “act of initiation” and a preparation of the mind, body, spirit, and selfhood, a group of African-American men will undergo a ritual of being costumed in elaborate soundsuits, before they reenter the city, transformed. The new film will premiere at Cranbrook in September.
July/August:Cranbrook Art Museum will partner with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) to present three Dance Labs designed by Nick Cave. He will pair three local dance companies with three groups of musicians to create their own choreographed works with his extraordinary soundsuits. The free public performances will be staged at the following locations:

Sunday, July 19, 4pm
The Ruth Ellis Center
77 Victor St
Highland Park, MI 48203

Sunday, July 26, 4pm
The Dequindre Cut
A below-street level path that runs parallel to St. Aubin Street, between Mack Avenue and Woodbridge Street just north of the riverfront in Detroit.

Friday, July 31, 6:30-7:30pm
Campus Martius
800 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48226

Sept. 26
As a continuation of his renowned performance series, Nick Cave will present Heard•Detroit as a partnership between Cranbrook Art Museum, the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and the Detroit School of Arts. The project will feature a procession of as many as 30 life-size horse sculptures operated by 60 high-school dancers along the Detroit riverfront. A dreamlike vision that stops everyday life for a collective transformative moment, Heard•Detroit will be performed by talented dancers and musicians attending the Detroit School of Arts, one of four magnet schools in the Detroit Public School system. The performance along the riverfront will be free and open to the public. Meet at Milliken State Park (near the hill), and across from the Outdoor Adventure Center. Rain date is September 27 (time TBD).
October 4
The culmination of the project will be Figure This: Detroit, a large-scale performance comprised of the dances and music from the Dance Labs, a presentation by children of their Cave-inspired creations, and be the live performance premiere of the artist’s new artwork Up Right: Detroit. This final performance will be staged in Detroit’s Masonic Temple for an audience of hundreds. Tickets for this free event will be available through Cranbrook Art Museum. Details will be posted on our website later this summer.

Follow the project on our website: Nick Cave: Here Hear.

Posted In: Nick Cave, Press Releases

Media Inquiries:
Julie Fracker
Director of Communications
Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum