Chicago Magazine — “What Happens When Two Geniuses Collide? We Asked Jeanne Gang and Nick Cave”

September 7, 2017

“Two months before the premiere of their first-ever collaboration, architect Jeanne Gang—she of Aqua Tower and Northerly Island fame—and performance artist and sculptor Nick Cave—he of the elaborate Soundsuit costumes—sat at an oversize conference table on the second floor of Navy Pier, hunched over Gang’s iPhone. Queued up were a series of three videos, each featuring a prototype set piece that Gang and her team designed for Cave’s September 13 performance at Navy Pier. ‘I like this reflective material,’ said Cave, enlarging an image of a mirrored buoy-like object. ‘It picks up all this memory and its surroundings. The others don’t do that.’ Gang nodded in agreement. ‘We can play with that.’

The idea to pair the two first arose when Navy Pier’s chief program and civic engagement officer Michelle T. Boone asked Cave if there were any architects he dreamed of working with. His answer: Jeanne Gang.

Though the two had met only once, the fandom was mutual, and when Boone called Gang, she signed on right away. Soon after, Navy Pier announced the event would open both Expo Chicago and the Chicago Architecture Biennial. But as for what the two culture giants have in mind? ‘I really don’t know what’s going to happen,’ says Cave. ‘That’s the fun part.’”

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Photo: Taylor Castle



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