On a hectic Monday mid-morning, artist Nick Cave orchestrated a take-over of New York City’s largest public artery—Grand Central Station. Curated by Creative Time with MTA Arts for Transit, Cave presented “Heard NY” and his herd of thirty Alvin Ailey dancers dressed in colorful Soundsuit horses.
Slow down, change the rhythm in your routine, and gallop through Grand Central this week.
A Magical Moment
When in a big city, one learns to be wary of crowded places, gimmicky antics and unusually colorful characters. Monday morning, I walked into the heart of everything I usually try my best to avoid in New York. I downed my usual pot of coffee and convinced my friend who works in Midtown to take an early lunch break. It was a miracle we found each other—both of us wearing dark, nondescript winter coats—in the massive Grand Central Station swarming with non-stop human traffic.
Feeling surprisingly giddy, we followed the distant sounds of drums and marched into the Vanderbilt Hall. It was a wondrous sight: thirty colorful life-size horses swaying and spiraling to harp and percussion surrounded by bewildered commuters and lucky tourists. I lost my sense of time in the thick of a concrete jungle. We were experiencing what Cave calls a “magical moment.” I hopped back on the subway with my camera dangling from my shoulder, with a grin strapped on my face.
When Sculpture Comes Alive
Sculpture and performance artist Nick Cave assembled his first Soundsuit out of twigs in 1992 in reaction to LAPD’s controversial arrest and beating of black motorist Rodney King. Cave’s wearable sculptures disable the viewers from perceiving race, gender, or class. Created from found objects, the sculptural suits generate a symphony of sound through physical movement.
The horses of “Heard NY.” Photo: Steph Ziemann
The horses of “Heard NY” were fashioned from dried grass and embroidery, and the movement of the dancers creates a soothing sound of rustling wind. The artist explains, “What I was interested in was producing a project that sort of brought us back to this dream state, this place of imagination.”
Experience a magical moment with Nick Cave’s whimsical horses this week. The Soundsuits are on view in the Vanderbilt Hall. The performance “crossings” begin twice daily at 11am and 2pm until March 31.
- Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Station – Nick Cave’s “Heard NY” – March 25 – 31, 2013 – Performance Daily 11am and 2pm [Free]
Article by Sewon Christina Chung