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  • Fiona Prior

Nick Cave: Until

Nick Cave: Until

Nick Cave’s installation ‘Until’ at Sydney’s Carriageworks is immersive. You walk into the vast, warehouse space with its soaring ceilings and the industrial space has been transformed into a playground of childish delights. Sparkling things hang from the ceiling’s timber beams and girders and gay reflective baubles the colours of a gem-hued rainbow surround you in what feels like miles and miles of giant-sized Christmas decorations.

image: Until (detail) courtesy of the artist and Carriageworks

A little further in you find yourself under a sparkling crystal mass that is topped by a treasure trove of childhood joys: golden pigs, coloured birds, garden gnomes, toys, flowers, stars….

image: Crystal Cloudscape (detail) courtesy of the artist and Carriageworks

Closer inspection reveals that at the heart of many of these magical forms is a gun. Well, the image of a gun. Therein lies the heart of Nick Cave’s expansive message.

image: Crystal Cloudscape (detail) courtesy of the artist and Carriageworks

“Is there racism in Heaven?” In the process of making ‘Until', Nick Cave’s largest and most complex exhibition to date, Cave toys with the term ‘innocent until proven guilty’, putting a little context round our child’s fantasy-land with those lethal weapons embedded in what should be so much safe innocence and joy. As little (and big, and black, and yellow, and straight, and gay, and male, and female, and so on, and so forth) hands instinctively reach out for the baubles, a gun suddenly becomes apparent. Definitely a cautionary tale with a hidden message that may come too late. (There is a strict 'No Touch' policy attached to Cave's impossibly irrestistable tactile exhibition).

Until’ probes the complex issues of race relations, gun violence, racial profiling and gender politics that currently divide the United States of America, and the extension of these matters in communities around the world.

Welcome to Australia.



Redfern, Sydney

Until 3 March 2019

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