The exhibition Let’s C featured one floor of Nick Cave’s iconic Soundsuits, which function simultaneously as sculptures, costumes, and extensions of the wearer’s persona. For more than two decades, Cave has constructed Soundsuits out of a trove of unique, found materials, such as throw rugs, stuffed animals, gleaming buttons, human hair, and other items from thrift stores, flea markets, and estate sales. The sculptural forms of the Soundsuits function simultaneously to display and conceal through the visual references to the exuberance of masquerade and the protection of body armor. This installation included recent works that showcased a new direction in Cave’s practice, introducing a muted palette, uniform surfaces, and dynamic relationships between multiple figures.
The exhibition also debuted a new installation created during his artist residency at FWM in collaboration with FWM studio staff and apprentices. In the work, titled Architectural Forest (2011), Cave aimed to achieve a playground- like atmosphere with cheery, yet mysterious, qualities. As in the Soundsuits, Cave made this work out of a found, noise-making material: painted segments of bamboo curtains. Cave recombined the curtain strands and hung them above a neon vinyl floor to create unique, colorful patterns that shifted in and out of focus as the viewer navigated the perimeter. Architectural Forest served as a mystical setting for Cave’s performance at FWM, which incorporated dance, music, and ambient sounds from the installation itself.