Lecture with Cassils at the Center for Creative Photography (Room 108)
Thursday, November 29, 5:30-7:00pm
The University of Arizona School of Art’s Visiting Artists and Scholars lecture series gives voice to displaced, marginalized, and excluded groups to demonstrate the particular power of visual art to create civil engagements and meaningful connections.
Cassils will discuss their artistic practice and upcoming performance with MOCA Tucson on Saturday, December 1st at Biosphere 2.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Listed by the Huffington Post as “one of ten transgender artists who are changing the landscape of contemporary art,” Cassils has achieved international recognition for a rigorous engagement with the body as a form of social sculpture. Featuring a series of bodies transformed by strict physical training regimens, Cassils’ artworks offer shared experiences for contemplating histories of violence, representation, struggle, and survival. Cassils juxtaposes the immediacy, urgency and ephemerality of live performance against constructed acts for camera. Bashing through binaries, Cassils’ transgender performances are not so much a crossing from one sex to another but rather a continual process of becoming, a form of embodiment that works in a space of indeterminacy, spasm, and slipperiness. Drawing on conceptualism, feminism, body art, and gay male aesthetics, Cassils forges a series of powerfully trained bodies for different performative purposes. It is with sweat, blood, and sinew that Cassils constructs a visual critique around ideologies and histories.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts; School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Bemis Center, Omaha; MU Eindhoven, Netherlands; Trinty Square Video, Toronto; and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York. Cassils’ work has also been featured as the key art for the blockbuster exhibition at the Deutsches Historisches Museum and the Schwules Museum; Berlin, Institute for Contemporary Art; The National Theatre, London; MUCA Roma, Mexico City; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City; ANTI Contemporary Performance Festival, Kuopio, Finland; Museo da Imagem e do Som, São Paulo, Brazil; and the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, San José, Costa Rica. Cassils is the recipient of a United States Artists Fellowship (2018), Guggenheim Fellowship (2016), and a Creative Capital Award (2015). They have also received the inaugural ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, Rema Hort Mann Visual Arts Fellowship, California Community Foundation Grant, MOTHA (Museum of Transgender Hirstory) award, and Visual Artist Fellowship from the Canada Council of the Arts. Cassils’ work has been featured in New York Times, Boston Globe, Artfourm, Wired, The Guardian, TDR, Performance Research, Art Journal, and Vogue Brazil and was the subject of the monograph Cassils published by MU Eindhoven in 2015.