As a continuation of Hoosac studies about African-American history, fifteen Hoosac students visited MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) on Wednesday, April 12 to experience the Nick Cave installation "Until", which explores identity, racism, gun violence, contradiction, and stereotypes. Cave, an artist from Chicago, is most famous for his "Sound Suits", which have been exhibited world-wide.
This exhibit is very different than any of the students had ever seen before. There were no paintings on the walls. Instead, they walked through a forest of dangling shiny objects meant to make the viewer think about not only what they saw, but what they became a part of when they were surrounded by the work. Another part of the exhibit featured a 360* video that explored the same themes. With help from a museum educator, they were encouraged to interpret and understand the work in terms of both their own lives and experiences, and the political climates in our country today.
"It really made me think about some of the important issues we face today," said VIth Former Stephen Yetto. Nick Lusignan, a Vth former said that he gained an understanding of how art can make a statement or a difference. Jordan Salzano, who is in the IV Form, said that the exhibition helped to raise awareness of certain issues, even if we are not experiencing them ourselves.
Nick Cave calls his installation "Until", currently on exhibit at MassMoCA in North Adams, MA, "A paradisiacal landscape where [black-faced lawn] jockeys appear — made from the crystals that would normally go into chandeliers, on a raised platform accessible via four ladders — is the heart of "Until." "I had been thinking about gun violence and racism colliding," Mr. Cave said. "And then I wondered: Is there racism in heaven? That's how this piece came about."
Cave believes art can be a form of diplomacy and change the way people engage with one of another.
Find out more about the artist and the exhibition at these links:
Watch the first 14 minutes of the "Chicago" episode to learn about the artist, Nick Cave: