For Immediate Release
11 August 2017
Contact: Jodi Joseph
Director of Communications
Nona Hendryx & Nick Cave
Turn up the volume
NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS — Exhibiting artist Nick Cave teams up with legendary soul singer Nona Hendryx for an evening of music and art in the galleries and on stage. Hendryx rose to prominence as one-third of the trio Labelle and has continued to break barriers and defy expectations in the four decades since, including memorable recordings and performances with Prince, Peter Gabriel, and Talking Heads. Cave’s Until becomes a whole new work when animated by live performance. Do whatever it takes to be here because tickets will sell out fast — limited preferred tickets include an exclusive gallery performance when Hendryx takes the stage on Saturday, August 19, at 7pm and 8pm.
Hendryx moves fluidly between rock club and art space, performing at art festivals, museums, and galleries across the U.S. and internationally. Often dressed in an “Audio Tutu,” created by artist Benoit Maubrey, the self-contained sound system allows her the freedom to explore non-conventional performance spaces and merge music and multimedia technology with her environment and art.
In the Hunter Center, Hendryx and Berklee College of Music Professor Dr. Richard Boulanger stage and perform eight episodes from their electronic opera The Sound of Dreaming, with an ensemble of virtuoso musicians, singers, app developers, and interactive system designers from Berklee. In The Sound of Dreaming, Hendryx performs remixes of her classic hits in a club, but as she falls asleep after the show, her dreams take her into a high-tech lab where her voice, brainwaves, biodata, and musical DNA are uploaded into singing toys and machines. Toys come to life and wake her into a new reality in which she has been reborn as a TransHuman Diva. Music, art, performance, and custom innovative technologies combine for a semi-staged version of core elements from the opera. The designers, programmers, engineers, and makers have created hybrid software/hardware instruments and custom apps that enable wireless, brainwave, and biosensor control and transformation of live audio and video.
Hendryx got her trailblazing start in the funk-rock group Labelle. The groundbreaking trio, comprised of Hendryx, Sarah Dash, and Patti LaBelle, shattered the traditional girl group mold by recording material with sexual and political subject matter — unheard of for an all-female black group at the time and exemplified by the 1974 smash hit “Lady Marmalade”. Hendryx, as chief songwriter, led the way with her edgy, political, and experimental themes as Labelle achieved gold success, becoming the first-ever rock group to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House and the first black singing group to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Hendryx continued to push boundaries with her solo career in 1976. Whether fronting her own progressive art-rock group, Zero Cool, or featuring drag queens in her music video (prompting MTV to pull it from being aired), she has always been a few steps ahead of the music industry. From rock to funk to new age, her solo career has defied categorization, with top-ten hits including “Bustin’ Out,” “Transformation,” and “Why Should I Cry?,” Grammy and Emmy nominations, and countless writing and producing credits to her name. Over the years, Hendryx has collaborated with Laurie Anderson, Yoko Ono, Talking Heads, and India.Arie, to name a few, as well as with writer/director Charles Randolph- Wright on his box office record-breaking play BLUE and the upcoming sci-fi musical Skindiver.
On Saturday, August 19, at 7pm, Nona Hendryx teams up with artist Nick Cave and electrifies his installation Until with a one-night-only live performance. The Sound of Dreaming follows the gallery performance in the Hunter Center at 8pm.
In the sweeping exhibition Until — a play on the phrase “innocent until proven guilty,” or in this case“guilty until proven innocent” — artist Nick Cave addresses issues of gun violence, gun control policy, race relations, and gender politics in today’s America. Sprawling throughout the massive Building 5 space, the exhibition is comprised of 16,000 wind spinners; millions of plastic pony beads; thousands of ceramic birds, fruits, and animals; 13 gilded pigs; more than 10 miles of crystals; 24 chandeliers; 1 crocodile; and 17 cast-iron lawn jockeys. Noted as Cave’s largest, most political, and most personal work to date, the exhibition is intended as both art and stage—as Cave describes it, “An elaborate community forum, as much as a work of sculpture.” Dancers, singer songwriters, pop artists, poets, and composers of world renown have been invited to perform in the space, which has welcomed and continues to host community events, including panel discussions, forums, theater, music making, and other forms of creative public debate and engagement. As she activates Nick Cave’s Until, Hendryx joins a long list of artists who have performed in the gallery, including Bill T. Jones, Helga Davis, and Okwui Okpokwasili. The exhibition is on view through September 4, 2017.
Performance and Ticketing Information
7pm Preferred in Nick Cave: Until
8pm General admission and preferred ticket-holders in the Hunter Center
Have dinner before the show at Lickety Split, MASS MoCA’s in-house café, which serves up crisp salads, hearty soups, and lip-smacking pub fare. Tickets are $20 for students, $30 in advance, and $45 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 10am to 6pm Sundays through Wednesdays, and 10am to 7pm Thursdays through Saturdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased online at our website.
This program is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
High-resolution images of MASS MoCA’s summer 2017 events are available through this link.
About MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making, displaying, and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. MASS MoCA nearly doubled its gallery space in spring 2017, with artist partnerships that include Laurie Anderson, the Louise Bourgeois Trust, Jenny Holzer, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and James Turrell.
Gallery admission is $20 for adults, $18 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under. Members are admitted free year-round. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is seasonal and currently on view. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit massmoca.org.
Summer Hours (through September 4)
10am to 6pm, Sundays–-Wednesdays
10am to 7pm, Thursdays–-Saturdays