The Body As Instrument And Image

This is a class where artists develop a performance. structured around embodied research, guest lectures, and exposure to several artist works and films. There will be workshops with a diverse group of artists whose practices critically, thoughtfully, and beautifully engage the intersectional struggles of our time. As Cassils encourages a performance and practice of embodiment, artists will examine physical training protocols, nutrition, meditation, and other techniques as embodied research to evoke performative presence. An emphasis of the course will be to strategize and scrutinize how live performance works against technology and think critically about the performance document. Part lecture series, part exercise, this class is an invitation to experiment with your body.

Mar 30th - May 11th

12-2:30 pm EST



Cassils is a transgender artist who makes their own body the material and protagonist of their performances. Cassils’s art contemplates the history(s) of LGBTQI+ violence, representation, struggle, and survival.

For Cassils, performance is a form of social sculpture; drawing from the idea that bodies are formed in relation to forces of power and social expectations, Cassils’s work investigates historical contexts to examine the present moment.

Cassils has had recent solo exhibitions at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, NYC; Institute for Contemporary Art, AU; Bemis Center for Contemporary Art; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Bemis Center, Omaha; MU Eindhoven, Netherlands. They are the recipient of a 2020 Fleck Residency from the Banff Center for the Arts, a Princeton Lewis Artist Fellowship finalist (2020), a Villa Bellagio Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (2019), a United States Artist Fellowship (2018), a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a COLA Grant (2017) and a Creative Capital Award (2015).

They have received the inaugural ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, California Community Foundation Grant, MOTHA (Museum of Transgender Hirstory) award, and numerous Visual Artist Fellowships from the Canada Council of the Arts. Their work has been featured in New York Times, Boston Globe, Artfourm, Hyperallergic, Wired, The Guardian, TDR, Performance Research, Art Journal and was the subject of the monograph Cassils published by MU Eindhoven 92015) and their new catalogue Solutions, is published by the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, TX (2020).

Cassils, Solutions, Installation Image No. 10 (Solutions, Station Museum, Houston, Texas), 2018 photo: Cassils with Alejandro Santiago Courtesy of the artist
Cassils, Resilience of the 20% (Body of Work, Ronald Feldman Gallery, NYC), 2017 photo: Cassils with Megan Paetzhold Courtesy of the artist
Cassils, Monument Push, Performance Still No. 1 (Omaha Nebraska), 2017 photo: Cassils with John Ficenec Courtesy of the artist
Cassils, Alchemic No. 2, 2017 photo: Cassils with Robin Black Courtesy of the artist

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