SAIC Fashion Design Professor Nick Cave will have about 40 of his famed Soundsuits on display at the Cranbrook Art Museum for his major solo exhibition Here, Hear. An important component of the exhibition is a series of what he calls "invasions" performed in Detroit; it's a way to "interface with a city that is redefining itself... it's about bringing diversity, bringing neighborhoods together, working amongst people who have not necessarily been in a cultural environment," he says in a video made for the Cranbrook.
In the Detroit Free Press Cave describes how important Detroit was to him during his time at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1987 when he was the only African American male in his class. "That was the first time I had to look at myself as a black male, and it was a struggle to find my place... Detroit allowed Cranbrook to work for me, to find a balance," Cave says.
WWD points out that Cave’s Soundsuits have been cited as inspiration for designers such as Kenzo and are owned by the likes of Jay Z and Beyoncé. The significance of the sounduits lies in their masking of gender, race, and class. Cave says “[The Soundsuits] force you to look at them without judgment. It gets back to differences. How do we embrace our differences? You’re looking at this hybrid human, yet it’s foreign, yet it has this sense of authority, how do we come to that and be open to a different kind of acceptance?”
Image: PD Rearick