A still from Cultural Stimulus: Old Irving Park (2020) by Nick Cave
In response to the tectonic uncertainty of the Covid-19 era, when the public looks for sources of artistic experience from the safety of home as museums and galleries remain shut, and artists must recast their creative process in social isolation, the artist Nick Cave is launching a new video series called Cultural Stimulus that he hopes will recreate some of the feeling of visiting a public art performance. Prepared while sheltering in place, with available artworks, the pieces are staged and filmed in Chicagos now empty public places, as well as Facility, Caves 20,000 sq-ft studio.
“I spent the first couple of weeks taking in what the pandemic meant,” Cave says of how the lockdown affected his practice, which often involves building and wearing elaborate costumes that serve as a form of armour against social injustice. “Very quickly, it turned into: How can I contribute to our collective well-being?” He began by presenting The Cultural Contribution, a vitrine-like installation on Facilitys ground floor, as well as a pick-up site for free face masks, designed to share happiness and safety with the neighbourhood, Cave says. But after creating three over-sized, sparkly yellow smiley faces for the buildings street level window and a myriad of face masks, Cave realised that videos could deliver a similar energy to a larger community and stimulate broader creative senses.
Four short, easily shareable clips (some only a minute long), have been released so far on Instagram and Vimeo, and Cave anticipates making 6-12 performances in all. In the first piece, Old Irving Park, Cave evokes his well-known mixed-media Tondo sculptures with a joyful twist, carrying a circular piece with a colour wheel on one side and a smiley face on the reverse across a snowy landscape. And Dance Party features a unRead More – Source