NICOLA L (French, lives and works in New York City) studied art at the Académie Julian in Paris, followed by the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris at the atelier of painter Jean Souverbie. She has exhibited her work internationally since 1969 in Biennials such as the 2014 Liverpool Biennial and the 2002 Havana Biennial; at venues including, Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Nice Museum of Contemporary Art, Gallery Twentieth (Los Angeles), MUKHA (Antwerp); and at art fairs, including FIAC and Frieze London. Her work appeared in the Camden Arts Centre in London in the ground-breaking exhibition “Soft Art” in 1974, and at the Musée d’Ixelles in Brussels, as part of the famous 1975 exhibition JE/NOUS, organized by Harold Szeeman. She has staged impromptu street performances beginning with Red Coat Same Skin For Everyone (1969). Her work has been the subject of catalogues and received coverage in Art in America, Le Monde, Guernica, The New York Times, and Vogue Magazine.
Wearing the Blue Cape
On December 16, 2014 the inaugural Action of Collective Actions was a performance of the Blue Cape at SECCA. Twelve female community leaders and members inhabited it with accompaniment by Jazz Saxophone.
Blue Cape is a nomadic work that has been performed across the world. In each setting, it reflects the local context and culture and the energy of the people wearing it. Activated in spontaneous street performances and more choreographed situations, Nicola L has invited complete strangers to climb inside the Blue Cape. Wearing the same cloth, the people inside of it become a pop-up ensemble directed by the artist to move in step. The pedestrian experience of walking is transformed into a ritual of discovery and social reorganization. The purpose of Nicola L’s social sculptures and objects for performance such as the Blue Cape is to ask how art can memorably inspire and catalyze social action and collectivity.