Flux Projects has announced that it will bring Nick Cave, performance artist extraordinaire, to Atlanta in spring 2015. Cave, best known for his eye-popping Soundsuits, the ultimate in danceable wearable art, will create a new piece and new Soundsuits for the occasion, to be performed at Ponce City Market.
To bring an artist of that stature, and one willing to make something new, is quite a coup for the young public art organization, and an indisputable statement of its ambitions.
Anne Dennington, executive director of Flux Projects, notes that Atlanta has many small organizations and a few big ones but lacks the midsize organizations, which means, she says, “Atlanta is missing out on a whole tier of artists and artworks.” Flux Projects would like to take its place in that middle space.
“In the past we’ve done a lot of smaller projects. In determining how we wanted to grow, we decided to focus on one big one,” she says. “This takes us to a level that we’ve never worked before.”
That requires financial ambition as well. Although some of its past projects were at a $40,000 scale, most have been an average of $10,000 to $20,000. Resurrection, the Cave project, will cost $100,000. MailChimp “stepped up big time,” she says, and Ponce City Market’s Jamestown Properties is providing major in-kind support. Fundraising is ongoing.
The concept for the piece grew out of a theme Flux Projects had proposed: the 150th anniversary of the burning of Atlanta. It evolved into a consideration of the cycle of destruction and renewal in Atlanta’s DNA and the role of fire, from Sherman to the Olympic Torch. Cave has described the symbolic subtext of the piece as “a ‘call to arms, head and heart’ for Cave initiates. In this performance, dressing technicians prepare their initiates’ mind, body and spirit to face the forces that stand in the way of selfhood, to enter a world over which they have complete control. Initiates become warriors of their own destiny.”
Cave will work with Atlanta choreographer T. Lang, assistant professor of dance at Spelman College and artistic director of T. Lang Dance, who will select the performers — actors, musicians and a spoken word artist as well as dancers — and choreograph a section of the work.
The performances, running April 23–26, 2015, roughly coincide with the opening of its venue, the mixed-use community under development in the former Sears, Roebuck & Co distribution center adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine in the Old Fourth Ward.
Disclosure: Louis Corrigan, founder and board member of Flux Projects, is on ArtsATL’s board.