Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition wird nun am 8. Juni eröffnet – The Nick Cave Exhibition will now open on 8 June

(Much more Information in English, scroll down please!) Die Nick Cave-Ausstellung „ Stranger Than Kindnessin Kopenhagen wird nun am 8. Juni eröffnet, nachdem sie aufgrund von Coronavirus-Beschränkungen um 2 Monate verschoben wurde. Um sicherzustellen, dass so viele Gäste wie möglich die Ausstellung besuchen können, wurde der Ausstellungszeitraum bis zum 13. Februar 2021 verlängert.

Eine Reise in die kreative Welt des Musikers, Geschichtenerzählers und Kulturikone Nick Cave. 

Die Ausstellung vereint großformatige Installationen und originelle atmosphärische Klanglandschaften mit mehr als 300 Objekten aus Caves eigener Sammlung, dem Nick Cave Archiv im Arts Centre Melbourne, den Sammlungen der Dänischen Königlichen Bibliothek und einer Reihe von privaten Leihgebern.

Sie präsentiert mehr als 50 Jahre von Caves Leben, Werk und Inspiration in einer räumlichen, multisensorischen Erforschung seiner vielen realen und imaginären Universen. Stücke wie Originalvorlagen, handschriftliche Songtexte, Literatur, Fotografie, Videos, Bühnenbilder und gesammelte persönliche Artefakte werden in einer wechselnden, umfassenden Schilderung in acht Räumen gezeigt.

Stranger Than Kindness untersucht, was unser Leben prägt und uns zu dem macht, was wir sind, und feiert die Neugierde und Kraft des kreativen Geistes.

Die Ausstellung wurde von Christina Back, Dänische Königlichen Bibliothek, und Janine Barrand, Arta Centre Melbourne, in Zusammenarbeit mit Nick Cave für Den Sorte Diamant, Kopenhagen, entwickelt und gestaltet. Sie wurde von der Dänischen Königlichen Bibliothek in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Australian Music Vault im Arts Centre Melbourne kuratiert und produziert. Die Klanglandschaften wurden für die Ausstellung von Nick Cave und Warren Ellis komponiert und aufgenommen. 

Stranger Than Kindness: Die Nick Cave-Ausstellung ist zu sehen in

Den Sorte Diamant – Dänische Königliche Bibliothek Søren Kiergaards Plads, Kopenhagen, Dänemark
8. Juni 2020 bis 13. Februar 2021

Montag-Freitag 10-19 Uhr, Samstag 10-18 Uhr, Sonntag geschlossen

Vorverkauf empfohlen, bitte besuchen Sie
Tickets: 12 € (Ermäßigungen möglich)


The Black Diamond, Copenhagen
8 June 2020 – 13 February 2021
Exhibition opening 8 June 2020

Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition will now open on 8 June, following a 2 month postponement due to coronavirus restrictions. To ensure as many guests as possible are able to visit the exhibition, the exhibition period has been extended until 13 February 2021.

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, 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 the 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.


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.

Co-curator and designer Christina Back said: “I am astonished by Nick’s ability to create a spatial and visual form of storytelling. It comes naturally to him to speak in constructed narrative images, so my most important task was not to interfere too much and let the artistic expression stand as clearly as possible”

Co-curator Janine Barrand said: “It has been a truly amazing experience to collaborate with Nick and Christina on reimagining Nick’s creative life by developing stories together and interpreting his collection in new and exciting ways. I know visitors to the exhibition will be totally immersed in Nick’s evolving and wonderful worlds and never-before-seen artistic processes.”

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.


Nick Cave’s archives are bountiful and diverse: drafts, original artwork, handwritten lyrics, diaries, photographs, videos, found objects and much more. Rich, obsessive and unorthodox they are a vibrant, inexhaustible source of exploration of his work. This is the wellspring of Nick Cave’s lyrics and their teeming world of imaginative imagery and vivid characters. Delving deep into this archive is not just an act of retrospection, it is also a journey through Cave’s history and creative processes.

For Cave there is close connection between the visual and his narratives. Pictures made from blood and hair, glue and found objects —  such as pornographic photographs, religious prayer cards, and kitsch lenticulars — were often the springboards for the songs themselves.

“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.”

-Nick Cave


The exhibition is accompanied by the book, Stranger Than Kindness, a Sunday Times bestseller – published by Canongate on 23 March 2020. The book was developed and curated by Nick Cave in collaboration with Christina Back and features full colour reproductions of original artwork, handwritten lyrics, photographs and collected personal artefacts along with commentary and meditations from Nick Cave, Janine Barrand and a substantial essay by the acclaimed American writer Darcey Steinke.


The exhibition was developed and designed by Christina Back, Royal Danish Library and Janine Barrand, Arts Centre Melbourne in collaboration with Nick Cave 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.

Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition is shown at The Black Diamond – Royal Danish Library

Søren Kierkegaards Plads, Copenhagen, Denmark

8 June 2020 – 13 February 2021

Monday-Friday 10am-7pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday closed

Ticket information

Advance booking advised, please visit Tickets: 12 € (concessions available)

Vouchers already purchased remain valid.

Please note: 

Reduced capacity – To ensure the comfort and safety of our guests, entrance to the exhibition is based on pre-booked timeslots and the hourly capacity has been reduced well below the maximum allowed for the space.

Extended time – The original exhibition period has been extended several months to allow as many guests outside of Denmark to be able to visit.

Travel – Please check local and international travel restrictions.

Nick Cave

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 and writing of novels. His recent Conversation events and Red Hand Files website have seen Cave exploring deeper and more direct relationships with his fans.

Royal Danish Library

The Royal Danish Library holds one of Northern Europe’s largest collections of rare books, manuscripts and artists’ archives. The Black Diamond serves as a cultural venue for the Library offering exhibitions, talks, performances and concerts. The exhibition team, headed by Christina Back, has worked with international artists for more than a decade to explore spatial storytelling and multi-sensory exhibition design.

Australian Music Vault at Arts Centre Melbourne

Arts Centre Melbourne is the proud custodian of the Australian Performing Arts Collection, Australia’s largest and most important collection dedicated to the acquisition, preservation and interpretation of Australia’s circus, dance, music, opera and theatre heritage. In 2006 Nick Cave donated his archive to the Collection entrusting us to preserve his legacy. Cave’s archive forms the base of this exhibition. The Australian Music Vault is developed by Arts Centre Melbourne to celebrate the Australian contemporary music story.