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Costumes and Collapse: A Screening and Conversation with Nick Cave, with a Performance by CHAOS

04.10.2024 05:30 PM

Event Summary

Photo by Max Herman.

This symposium brought Chicago-based artist Nick Cave into dialogue with the Tbilisi, Georgia-based experimental performance group CHAOS. Both Cave and CHAOS interrogate race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality through the mediums of performance and wearable art. Like Cave’s famous Soundsuits, CHAOS’s performances feature elaborate sculptural costumes that engage with a variety of natural and urban ecologies. At once manipulating the scale of the human form and repurposing discarded materials, these wearable sculptures challenge the boundaries, optics, and intimacies surrounding both the body and identity politics.

The program included a live performance by CHAOS followed by a screening of Cave’s film Here, shot in Detroit on the occasion of his 2015 exhibition Hear, Here at the Cranbrook Art Museum. Afterward, CHAOS and Cave joined the research team on the Neubauer Collegium’s Costumes and Collapse project for a discussion about performance and material culture in relation to forms of embodied resistance.

This event was presented by the Costumes and Collapse research project at the Neubauer Collegium with support from UChicago Arts, the Logan Center for the Arts, the Humanities Division, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Committee on Theater and Performance Studies, and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago.