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Nick Cave to Fill Grand Central With a Herd of Soundsuit Horses

by Kyle Chayka on January 17, 2013

Nick Cave's Soundsuit horses in Grand Central (Photograph by Travis Magee, Courtesy Creative Time and MTA Arts for Transit)

Nick Cave’s Soundsuit horses in Grand Central (Photograph by Travis Magee, Courtesy Creative Time and MTA Arts for Transit)

Grand Central hosts 21,600,000 visitors annually, has been the site of numerous flash mobs, and now even has its own Apple store, but the venerable train station has never seen anything like this. Artist and performer Nick Cave has created 30 of his signature Soundsuits in the shape of horses. The array of equines will take up residency in Grand Central from March 25 to 31.

The piece, called “Heard•NY” and co-presented by Creative Time and MTA Arts for Transit, is Cave’s first public artwork in New York City. Two dancers apiece will animate the costumes, “grazing” in the interior of the station and breaking out into dance when accompanied by the music of two harpists. Covered in particolored shag with heads decked out in what looks like matador garb, the horses are works of art in themselves, but they’ll be hypnotizing to see in action. See the photograph at top plus the detail shots below to get an idea of what Grand Central’s new inhabitants will look like.

Nick Cave's Soundsuit horses (Photograph by James Prinz, Courtesy Nick Cave Studio)

Nick Cave’s Soundsuit horses (Photograph by James Prinz, Courtesy Nick Cave Studio)

When they’re not activated by dancers, the horse costumes will stand idle in the station’s Vanderbilt Hall. The installation paves thew ay for Cave’s upcoming exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, which opens on June 9 and will feature over 20 Soundsuits and an immersive installation.

See a previous performance of “Heard” at the University of North Texas below. Though it would be easy to argue that Cave’s Soundsuits are a little too omnipresent in museum and gallery shows and his practice hasn’t evolved a terribly large amount over the years, there’s something so fundamentally charming and beautiful about the suits in motion that makes you want to overlook any critical qualms. This should be fun.

Nick Cave’s “Heard•NY” will be installed in Grand Central from March 25 to 31.

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