The expansive installation, created by artist Jim Hodges, was made of more than 5,000 separately cut pieces of colored glass.
For meditations on time, there are few places more frenetic with marking the seconds than Grand Central Terminal. The hundreds of thousands of people that pass through the station each day create a constant motion around the gold clock that sits calmly ticking away the moments in the center of the Grand Concourse. It’s around this idea that On Time / Grand Central at 100 was organized by MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design.
I first learned about Nick Cave’s work in an undergraduate puppetry class. Puppetry, like architecture and some other disciplines, is the synthesis of a myriad of techniques both artistic and mechanical, attracting sculptors, dancers, and engineers in equal number. Similarly, Cave’s 30-strong herd of horses that visited Grand Central last week in his piece HEARD•NY, presented by MTA Arts for Transit and Creative Time, as well as the “Soundsuits” for which he gained initial recognition are genre-bending works of art: they are visual and performative wonders as well as feats of construction. Cave is the director of the Graduate Fashion Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, so while he may be an unwitting puppeteer, he is certainly no stranger to the intersections of beauty, functionality, and craftsmanship.
Before Nick Cave’s “Heard•NY” galloped off into its first performance of its week-long installation in Grand Central Terminal, the soundsuit artist explained that he wanted to “produce a piece that brought us back to a dream state.” The 60 dancers from the Alvin Ailey School definitely gave the 30 fringed horse costumes a strange sort of life, as they changed into the horses and then out again into a frenzied dance of movement.
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.
“Something I Guarantee You’ve Never Done Before” was the title of the Facebook invitation I got. “Hmm.” I thought. The invitation was somewhat secretive, but the link that was provided confirmed what I suspected. Being somewhat familiar with Olek’s work from some of the press she’s gotten, I knew it would involve spending time in a full-body crocheted costume. A few weeks later after determining I didn’t have anything better to do (and I mean that in the best possible way), I decided to go for it. Crocheting is a very occasional hobby of mine. I’ve always had an affinity for it over knitting, which seems to be the hipper of these crafts, and I wanted to get more familiar with Olek’s work after her last show titled KnittingisforPus*****.