Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition

North American Premiere!

Presented until August 7, 2022
Galerie de la Maison du Festival, Montreal

Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition is presented until August 7 at the Galerie de la Maison du Festival in Montreal, in the Quartier des spectacles.

This is the North American premiere of the exhibition, which was previously presented at The Black Diamond, Copenhagen, Denmark. There are currently no plans for the exhibition to travel to the USA.

The exhibition was met with acclaim from press and visitors alike when it opened in Copenhagen in March 2020.

Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition is an unprecedented look into the creative world of musician, storyteller and cultural icon Nick Cave. With more than 300 objects collected or created by Nick Cave through six decades of his creative and private life brought together in large-scale installations, the exhibition is an artwork in itself. Created for The Black Diamond of The Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen, and with Cave as a co-curator and co-designer, the exhibition is an unorthodox fusion of biography, autobiography and fiction, asking what shapes our lives and makes us who we are.
Nick Cave’s body of work encompasses a wide range of media and modes of expression, with narrative forms at its heart. Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition invites visitors to follow Cave’s development as an artist – and to gain insight into the overarching themes of his work, his working methods  and  the  many  sources  of  inspiration  underpinning it all. Behind each work is an  equally fascinating artistic process not originally intended for public view; the exhibition opens up the innermost parts of Cave’s creative universe and offers a story of its own.
Stranger Than Kindness covers the journey from Cave’s childhood in 1960s Wangaratta, Australia, through the chaotic years with his first bands, The Boys Next Door and The Birthday Party, and his relocation to Berlin and then London. Central is the ever-evolving collaboration in Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, from the band’s inception in Cave’s most obsessive period in Berlin, up to their latest release Ghosteen (2019), widely acknowledged as their best work ever. The exhibition reveals how Nick Cave’s life, music, archives and fictions continue to intertwine, inform and inspire each other.

Here are some excellent quotes about the exhibition from selected Montreal media outlets:

‘…a fascinating exploration of the intense singer’s oeuvre.’
Brendan Kelly, Montreal Gazette

‘With his treasure hunt of an exhibition, Cave puts his life on display for superfans and curious lurkers alike…’
Caitlin Stall-Paquet, CBC Arts

“Made up of fragments from over 50 years of his career, the exhibition is a life’s journey measured out in things … Stranger Than Kindness dismantles Cave’s backstory.”
Ben Perdue, AnOther Magazine

‘You’ll feel as if he’s a distant friend after stepping through it, whether you were aware of his work or not. It’s profound.’
Stephan Boissonneault, Cult Mtl

‘A well curated exploration into the mind of one of the world’s great storytellers’
Paul Brown, Northern Transmissions


Stranger Than Kindness has been designed in collaboration with Nick Cave to create a series of immersive installations which allow visitors to inhabit the thoughts and creative process of an artist. It is a tangible, physical narrative, in which the space and exhibition design become an extension of the many stories contained within Cave’s life and writings.

“ When the Royal Danish Library contacted me with the idea of a “Nick Cave Exhibition” I was reluctant to get involved. I am not nostalgic by nature and I had no time for a trip down Memory Lane. But the team at the library were clearly serious people with a wonderful infectious energy and they drew me in! We created an exhibition that feels unprecedented in its audacious reach, its feet rooted in the past while extending into the uncertain future. In the end we were able to put together an exhibition of extraordinary detail that commented on the fragile and vulnerable nature of identity.

I am so proud to be a part of this unique and unorthodox exhibition—a shattered history we called Stranger Than Kindness.” 

Nick Cave

Stranger Than Kindness vibrates between the voice of the curators and the voice of the artist. Cave working closely with the curators has resulted in an original take on the biographical exhibition, allowing a new experience with the material, the objects, and the life and stories of Nick Cave. A merge of biography, autobiography and fiction placed in a spatial narrative – and an invitation into an artist’s mythical universe of creation.

Together with his long-time musical collaborator, Warren Ellis, Cave has also composed and recorded an 800 square meter (approx 8,600 square feet) soundscape that both supports and contrasts the physical narrative across the eight rooms of the exhibition.

The exhibition also contains two installations created with artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, who wrote and directed the 2014 Bafta-nominated Nick Cave feature film 20,000 Days on Earth.

The exhibition was developed and designed by Christina Back, Royal Danish Library and Janine Barrand, Arts Centre Melbourne in collaboration with Nick Cave originally for The Black Diamond, Copenhagen. It was curated and produced by Royal Danish Library in collaboration with the Australian Music Vault at Arts Centre Melbourne and Nick Cave Productions.

The exhibition was initially made possible with support from main sponsor Gucci and the Beckett Foundation. The Montreal exhibition is presented and produced by Victor Shiffman (Workers of Art) in partnership with Nick Cave Productions as a co-production with Le Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and evenko.
Nick Cave has been performing music for more than forty years and is best known as the songwriter and lead singer of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, whose latest album Ghosteen was widely received as their best work ever. Cave’s body of work also covers a wider range of media and modes of expression including film score composition, ceramic sculpture and writing of novels. Over the last few years his Red Hand Files website and ‘Conversations with’ live events have seen Cave exploring deeper and more direct relationships with his fans.
Nick Cave has a huge global fanbase and is admired by many artists from the musical and art milieus. Since the 80’s, he has performed many shows in Montreal with his band, The Bad Seeds, playing some of the city’s best and most iconic venues and festivals, including the defunct Spectrum, L’Olympia theatre, Église Saint-Jean Baptiste as part of the POP Montreal Festival, and at Parc Jean-Drapeau during the Osheaga Festival.

Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition
April 8 – August 7, 2022
Galerie de la Maison du Festival
305 Ste. Catherine Street West, Montreal

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 12pm – 5:30pm (special discount price)
Wednesday: 12pm – 5:30pm
Thursday: 12pm – 8pm
Friday and Saturday: 11am – 8pm
Sunday: 11am – 6:30pm

Tickets on sale via

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