Nick Cave has already been a cultishly beloved icon for years. But in recent times, partially driven by excellent late-career work from Push The Sky Away to Skeleton Tree to Ghosteen, Cave has ascended to a different place. He’s taken on a whole new stature as one of our great songwriters, recognized for the quality of his work and the quiet, gradual scope of his influence. And now, he’s getting that legend status treatment with an exhibition dedicated to his life and writing.
Dubbed Stranger Than Kindness (after the Your Funeral… My Trial track), the exhibition will run from March until October next year at the Black Diamond in Copenhagen. It sounds like it’ll be a pretty intimate yet impressionistic look at Cave as an artist and person. Featuring “large scale installations” alongside 300 objects taken from Cave’s personal collection — as well as collections from lenders, the Royal Danish Library, and the Nick Cave archive at the Arts Centre Melbourne — the exhibition will encompass everything from artwork, handwritten lyrics, photography, and more in what’s being billed as a “shifting, immersive narrative across eight rooms.” Throughout, there will also be atmospheric soundscapes composed by Cave and his right-hand man Warren Ellis.
In addition, there will also be a new illustrated autobiography of the same name, released to coincide with the opening of the exhibition. Cave selected certain images and works from the exhibition to be featured in the book, and these will be accompanied by his own “commentary and meditations” as well as analysis of his music by the writer Darcey Steinke.
Cave is no stranger to retrospectives at this point — back in 2017, he released a compilation called Lovely Creatures, looking back at all his years with the Bad Seeds. And in the last year and a half, he’s been engaging directly with fans via talks/solo performances in various cities, which led to his online newsletter in which he answers fans’ questions about the past, or life in general. He might be making some of the most vital work of his career right now, but looking back at everything else just further underlines how rich a career it’s always been.
Stranger Than Kindness opens on 3/23 and runs until 10/3. Tickets are available here.