Visual Art

There’s a Monster Loose in Seattle

Brace yourselves.

By Laura Dannen March 10, 2011

Nick Cave’s soundsuits hit the town. Photo: Courtesy James Prinz

(Originally published February 2011.) He’s a tower of multicolored hair, silky locks from head to toe. No eyes, no ears. Just a Day-Glo Sasquatch with a penchant for shimmying. Rumor has it he has friends, and they could show up outside your office at any moment. Will you be ready for the invasion? Will you be ready to dance? Because they’re coming…the artists are coming.

Beneath the fuzzy full-body armor are Spectrum and Cornish dancers, tapped to frolic around town this spring inside “soundsuits” created by Chicago artist Nick Cave. He builds beautiful, cacophonous costumes-as-sculptures made of found objects, everything from human hair to sequins to sandwich bags. A collection of suits, titled Meet Me At the Center of the Earth, goes on display at Seattle Art Museum today, March 10, through June 5, but SAM plans to take the suits for a walk, too.

We hear that if you happen to be in downtown Seattle shopping this afternoon—say, 4ish—you might encounter one of these invasions. And these aren’t amateurs flailing about in furry costumes: Cave, a former Alvin Ailey dancer, has been working with local choreographer Donald Byrd to prep the Spectrum team for its performances. SAM will drop hints about the invasions on its Facebook and Twitter pages (@iheartSAM), but you can also see a scheduled show at Friday night’s Remix.

For more on Cave and the upcoming spring arts calendar, read our Spring Arts Preview.

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