Nick Cave Heard•syd

Experience thirty colourful horses as they transform Sydney into a place of wonder. HEARD•SYD is the first major work presented by American artist Nick Cave in Australia.

Art Exhibition previously on at Carriageworks in New South Wales, Australia.
From Thursday 10 November 2016 to Saturday 12 November 2016

Nick Cave Heard•syd image

Published by Carriageworks on Thursday 02 June 2016.
Contact the publisher.

- Three live performances featuring 60 dancers & musicians in 30 life-sized horse-suits to activate Carriageworks and Sydney’s CBD -

This November, Carriageworks and the City of Sydney present three live public performances by American artist Nick Cave, marking the first time the renowned artist has presented a major work in Australia. Presented over two days on Thursday 10 and Saturday 12 November 2016, Nick Cave’s spectacular and seminal work HEARD·SYD – featuring 60 Sydney-based dancers and musicians inhabiting colourful, life-sized horse-suits – will be performed across two locations, in the heart of Sydney’s CBD and twice at Carriageworks.

Set to live music and percussion, HEARD·SYD will disrupt the daily activity of Sydneysiders with an exuberant and surreal explosion of equestrian activity. The dynamic, site-specific performance features 30 life-sized horse suits, constructed from coloured raffia and found materials. Inhabited by two dancers at a time, the sound suits produce a distinctive sound when activated, with 60 Sydney-based dancers and musicians working with Nick Cave to deliver the project.

Prompted by American choreographer William Gill, the colourful horses will shuffle, toss their heads, paw the ground, prance, trot and nuzzle each other, building to a riotous, ritualistic rumpus.

One of the most important artists of his generation, Cave is best known for his ‘soundsuits’ – intricate sculptures that combine art, fashion, dance and music. Taking inspiration from African ceremonial costumes, Tibetan textiles, and popular culture, both as static sculptures or objects in motion, these works command authority, their unspecified occupants immediately becoming anonymous, androgynous and nationless.

Encouraging an almost pastoral dream-like state, HEARD·SYD is an escapist response to the bustle of the city, its architecture, parks and urban spaces. It is presented free to the public for each of the three performances.

Cave has reimagined HEARD especially for Sydney, with previous iterations of the project including HEARD·TX in Dallas, Texas (2012), HEARD·NY in Grand Central Terminal, New York (2013), and HEARD·DETROIT in Detroit, Michigan (2015).

“Public art has a wonderful capacity to surprise and inspire passers-by, breaking us out of the hustle and bustle of the daily commute. We’re working with Carriageworks to attract top flight artists who will inspire and start conversations,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

“I was really thinking of getting us back to this dream state, this place where we imagine and think about now and how we exist and function in the world… I think we tend not to take the time out to create that dream space in our heads.” Nick Cave on HEARD, 2013.

NICK CAVE BIOGRAPHY: Nick Cave is an artist, educator and foremost a messenger, working between the visual and performing arts through a wide range of mediums including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance. He says of himself “I have found my middle and now am working toward what I am leaving behind.” Cave is well known for his soundsuits, sculptural forms based on the scale of his body. Soundsuits camouflage the body, masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender, and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment. A solo exhibition of Cave’s work is currently on view at the Cranbrook Art Museum (2015), in Michigan, US. He will have a solo exhibition at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2016. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at the St. Louis Art Museum (2014-2015), the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (2014) and the Denver Art Museum (2013).