Nick Cave

USA (1959). Lives and works in Chicago.

Drive-By, 2011
Video, 16’

Nick Cave’s soundsuits are both static mannequins and elaborate garments. By 1993, it was only natural for him to begin using them habitually in performances just a few years after sharing the sculptures.

The next step after his performances was the development of videos with the suits. These videos have quickly become an important part of Cave’s body of work. His first great independent incursion into video is Drive-By.

The piece was originally shown at night, for one week, in September 2010 on seven screens mounted outside the first floor of a South Michigan Avenue building, adjacent to his studio. Spectators could literally pass by in their car and see it, an unconventional format that gave the work its name.

The video was subsequently edited into a single-screen, sixteen-second version in a limited edition with five editions issued to museums and private collectors. Drive-By shows twenty-five performers jumping, rolling, falling, and dancing. The abstract movement is organized into segments that sometimes repeat in stop motion or in split frame, among other techniques. After editing the video, a track with varied sounds and music was added that included sighs, crickets, indigenous drums, and electronic effects.