A public mural on the north-facing wall of National Sawdust

April 29, 2023
5:30 pm
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“Later, in a more perfect society, someone else made just like me is certain to appear and act freely.” 

An excerpt from the C. P. Cavafy poem “Hidden Things,” serves as the landscape for Lit, 2023, a newly commissioned mural co-created by Nick Cave & Bob Faust for an exterior wall of Brooklyn’s National Sawdust. The quote resonated with Cave & Faust as a visceral connection to human insecurities as well as the potential for human progress and communal empowerment. A billboard-scale expression of radical joy intended to refuel us on our way toward that more perfect society, the mural will make use of the cumulative powers of its visual components: Cavafy’s prescient words, an image of a Nick Cave soundsuit, and the facade of National Sawdust itself. Cave originally developed his now famous soundsuits to create a camouflage for the wearer’s shape, creating a second skin that hides gender, race, and class, and compelling the audience to observe without judgment, operating less as an armor and more as a key to unlock one’s own full expression. Faust worked with Cave to select an image of a soundsuit from 2003 for use in this large scale public artwork to integrate as an anthropomorphic representation of how an individual body may be bound to a certain time and place, but that with perseverance and hard work, will eventually be released from the walls which contain it.

This installation is part of the “Archive of Desire” festival by the Onassis Foundation. "Archive of Desire" is curated by composer Paola Prestini, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of National Sawdust, and under the creative direction of Afroditi Panagiotakou, Onassis Foundation’s Director of Culture.

C. P. Cavafy travels to New York. “Archive of Desire” is a festival that involves a multitude of actions inspired by the life and work of the Alexandrian poet, seeking to turn the spotlight on his work through an array of contemporary artistic endeavors that extend across the city. From April 28 to May 6, the interdisciplinary festival’s program includes a series of performances, digital art presentations, short film screenings, poetry readings, literary discussions, a visual rave, and many more live events curated by composer Paola Prestini, Artistic Director of National Sawdust, a non-profit organization for the promotion of contemporary music, and under the creative direction of Afroditi Panagiotakou, Onassis Foundation’s Director of Culture. LEARN MORE.

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Apr 29

The Onassis Foundation and National Sawdust present Lit, 2023: A Facility Artwork by Nick Cave and Bob Faust