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A Major New Exhibition Dedicated To Nick Cave Opens In Copenhagen

Put this major exhibition dedicated to legendary rock musician Nick Cave on your radar once we're allowed to travel once more.

If you’re someone as legendary as the poster boy of goth rock Nick Cave, how do you even begin to make sense of a career and oeuvre that spans nearly 40 years and countless accolades?

That’s a question Cave himself grappled with, when Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Library first reached out to him to broach the idea of an exhibition. “I am not nostalgic by nature and I had no time for a trip down memory lane,” says Cave.

The library’s team eventually won the musician over with their tenacity and the result is an extensive new exhibition titled Stranger Than Kindness, which has just opened recently at the Black Diamond, the Royal Danish Library’s cultural space and will run from now till Feb 13 next year.

If you’re not familiar with Cave, he’s best known as the frontman of the Australian experimental rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Cave himself is distinguished by the poetic, often melancholic touch he brings to his performances, lyrics as well as his own personal image.

He has also ties to the fashion world – his wife and former model Susie Cave is the founder behind the popular label The Vampire’s Wife. Cave himself is also a close personal friend to Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele – and small wonder; Cave’s stately yet sepulchral aura has earned him (unfairly or not) the reputation as the genre’s prince of darkness, fitting perfectly with Michele’s enthusiastic embrace of eclectic personalities who might have once been considered outliers. It makes sense that Gucci, as well as non-profit Danish foundation Beckett-Fonden, are the main sponsors for this exhibition.

Above, we take a look at what you can expect from the exhibition.

Nick Cave fans can look forward to more than 300 objects collected and created by the influential musician through the six decades of his professional and personal life in this exhibition, which Cave himself co-curated and designed.
“What you see in this exhibition lives in the intricate world constructed around the song or book or script or score. It is the material that gives birth to and nourishes this official work. There is an enormous amount of this peripheral stuff – drawings, maps, lists, doodles, photographs, paintings, collages, scribblings and drafts – which are the secret and unformed property of the artist. These are not to be seen as artworks so much as the wild-eyed and compulsive superstructure that bears the song or book or script or score along. They are a support system of manic tangential information,” says Cave.
Though best known for his music, Cave is also a prolific writer and reader; a renaissance man, if you will. Some of the objects on display include pictures made from blood and hair, glue, and found objects — such as pornographic photographs — that inspired him throughout his career.
The exhibition also includes many large-scale installations spread out across a staggering total of eight rooms, including a 8,600 sq ft soundscape composed by Cave.