Term Paper: Art Nick Cave's Exhibition at the Seattle

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Art

Nick Cave's exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum blends childlike passion with art and fashion. The "Meet Me at the Center of the Earth" exhibit is characterized by its whimsy and is evocative of Sesame Street. Yet viewed in their three-dimensional delight, Nick Cave's "sound suits" truly are art in motion.

Cave calls his pieces "sound suits," but they are more than that: they are multitextural and multisensory. In fact, the colors and the textures are the most immediately outstanding features of the spacey sound suits. All of them are vivid; not one is dull, drab, or depressing. The overall mood of the viewer is elevated, without Cave asking for metaphysical inquiry or deep philosophical analysis. There is no underlying social commentary or political power. Nick Cave's sound suits are pure art, entertainment, and fun. They are the embodiment of joy, laughter embodied in wearable art.

Perhaps there is more to what meets the eye, however. Nick Cave's suits are so preposterous as costumes that the viewer certainly can contemplate the artist's underlying intention. Cave is not trying to shock the viewer. None of the pieces are sexual or controversial in any way. Cave is trying to mirror the childlike wonder each viewer has within, before it was washed away by the quest for money, power, and prestige. Cave asks the viewer to recall the days of Sesame Street, when all the world was about coloring, playing, and having fun. The adult feels a sense of nostalgia when viewing "Meet Me at the Center of the Earth."

The title of the exhibition evokes J.R.R. Tolkein plus Jules Verne, both of whom invite the reader into a fantasy world. What makes "Meet Me at the Center of the Earth" different from the science fiction and middle earth realities, though, is the essentially lightheartedness of the exhibition. Also, the title includes the phrase "meet me," which suggests collaboration, working… [END OF PREVIEW]

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