This is a past event.

Call and Response: Africa to America 

When: Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through July 16 2010
www.spoletousa.org

Artist Nick Cave creates sculptural works that he calls “Soundsuits,” consisting of brightly colored fabrics, elaborate embroidery, beadwork, raffia, and other natural materials. Phyllis Galembo’s photographic portraits feature masqueraders from the West African countries of Benin, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. At the opening reception, wine will be served by Social and Djole African Dance and Drum Company will entertain the crowd. Guests of the opening reception are encouraged to “respond” to the exhibition by wearing their most festive attire. Art Mag will host a costume contest with prizes. Presented by Spoleto Festival USA.

No, not that Nick Cave
This is Cave the sculptor, fashion designer, and former dancer, not the notorious art-punk Aussie singer. But like his alterno-punk doppelganger, this Nick Cave is highly imaginative, versatile, and prolific. All of his art in this exhibition was created for the Halsey run.

This is art you can wear
Nick Cave's fabric artworks have ornate embroidery, beadwork, and raffia. The sound they make when worn — swishing, rattling, crackling — is almost as important as the way they look and feel. Most interestingly, the outfits twist up and outward in strange and wonderful directions, subverting our traditional view of how the human body should look. A parallel has been drawn between Cave's plume-like gear and the outlandish ritual costumes of West African dancers. His clothes have been tastefully matched with photographs taken in Benin, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso by Phyllis Galembo. The whole show is a call and response from one culture to another.

Galembo is all about masquerades
Phyllis Galembo has spent three decades traveling the world. The Halsey images are from her most recent travels, where she took portraits of people wearing impressive, multivaried, and sometimes creepy looking costumes; their masquerades are meant to strike fear into people as well as to entertain. Do their ritual strips of cloth alter reality around the wearers, as some believe? Galembo has made it her lifelong goal to find out.

— Nick Smith

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