Dress Up and Make Noise!

This is Nick Cave’s Soundsuit #20. He’s made hundreds of these suits, and this one is number twenty. With all its beads and sequins, this suit is pretty fragile, and the artist thinks of it as a sculpture. But Cave designs many of the other ones so that people can wear them. Those suits make a sound when you move in them—whooshing, clacking, rustling. The Soundsuits are also meant to disguise any person who might wear them, protecting them from discrimination based on race, gender, or anything else. Cave associates making noise with protest, and wants his sound suits to be used in creating positive change.  

Dress up and make some noise! Talk to your family and pick a time when you can make sounds in support of an idea you feel strongly about. Decide what you will wear and put those clothes on. Gather supplies that you can use to make sounds such as pots, pans, and spoons to bang, or a container of beans to shake. Sing or chant your ideas as you play your new ‘instruments.’

Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2005. Mixed media, 100 × 26 × 14 in. (254 × 66 × 35.6 cm). Collection of Beth Rudin DeWoody. © Nick Cave. Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Photograph by James Prinz Photography

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