Nick Cave’s art certainly demonstrates its efficacy at creating and taking up space on its own terms at his latest exhibition. Showing at the world-renowned New York art museum, The Guggenheim, until 10 April, Nick Cave: Forothermore presents a comprehensive exploration of the scope of Cave’s work, as well as offering a glimpse into the future of his practice. The exhibition, organised by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and curated by Naomi Beckwith, features Cave’s work via a range of artistic mediums including sculpture, installation, video, and costume design.
More specifically, the exhibition celebrates Cave’s determination to create space for those for which it lacks within dominant culture, such as those from working-class communities and queer people of colour. The title of the exhibition, Forothermore, is a new term coined by Cave himself. He explains the concept as “an ode to those who, whether due to racism, homophobia, or other forms of bigotry, live their lives as the other, and a celebration of the way art, music, fashion, and performance can help us envision a more just future”. The retrospective unfolds chronologically in the form of three sections: What It Was, What It Is, and What It Shall Be, titles inspired by an old African American greeting. What It Was takes a look at the artist’s psychedelic influences and early works, What It Is features work that addresses both sorrow and mourning, and joy and celebration. Finally, What It Shall Be examines not only the ways in which Cave proposes for his practices to survive, but, perhaps most notably of all, boasts Cave’s famous Soundsuits, vibrant and innovative art pieces that pioneered the world of mixing arts through the way in which they combine elements of art, fashion, and performance.

Paying tribute to Cave’s roots as well as highlighting his survival strategies for the future of his craft, the exhibition transcends not just the boundaries of artistic modes but of time. The intertextuality of the artist’s work in its varying forms, the way in which these individual artistic entities communicate and allude to one another creating a cohesive collection, beautifully illustrates his desire to celebrate those who have always been deemed the other. Through Cave’s work with primarily found and existing materials, the art exhibited at Nick Cave: Forothermore encourages us to recognise parts of our own individual worlds in the artist’s, in each other’s.
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