Nick Cave, the artist best known for his sound suits, currently has an installation of completely new work in MASS MoCA's football-field-size Building 5 (MASS MoCA is in North Adams, Mass.). Titled "Until," the work begins with a dense sculptural field of hundreds of metallic lawn ornaments leading to a crystal "cloud" hanging from the ceiling that is topped by a private "garden" populated with hundreds of birds, flowers, and black-face lawn jockeys, finally coming to rest before a cliff wall hand-woven with shoelaces and hundreds of thousands of colorful pony beads. The sheer volume of material that has been gathered is astounding — 16,000 wind spinners; millions of plastic pony beads; thousands of ceramic birds, fruits, and animals; 13 gilded pigs; more than 10 miles of crystals; 24 chandeliers; one crocodile; and 17 cast-iron lawn jockeys. All of this makes use of the tremendous length and height of the space.
Cave and MASS MoCA collaborated to scour eBay and secondhand and antique stores to buy the many different elements that are being incorporated, from the household ornaments to the lawn jockeys. These were then modified such that they can be affixed to the different structures (like the "cloud") and then later removed and packed for travel to subsequent venues.
The work is very timely: the "Until" title is a play on the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” or in this case maybe “guilty until proven innocent.” The piece addresses issues of gun violence, gun control policy, and race relations in America. On view through August.