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Artist Talk: Cassils

Image of the artist Cassils' work titled 'Human Measure Rorschach #1'

Cassils, 'Human Measure Rorschach, #1,' 2024. Digital image. Photo: Manuel Vason. Design: Catherine Davies Bell. Courtesy of the artist.

Please join us for an artist talk with Walter Phillips Gallery exhibiting artist Cassils in conjunction with the solo exhibition, Movement curated by Jacqueline Bell and Carol A. Stakenas. The lecture will precede the Opening Reception for the exhibition taking place from 5 pm -8 pm.

Movement exists in the interstices of performance, photography, sound and light. The title references the sequential stages of a musical score, as well as social, political, physiological and somatic movements. This exhibition includes a series of new works that translate Human Measure (2021-ongoing), Cassils’ first contemporary dance, into a visceral, immersive, visual and sonic installation.

The exhibition at Walter Phillips Gallery is made possible through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Government of Canada and Government of Alberta. The film installation, Movement was produced with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, in collaboration with Banff Centre and with additional support from a Paul D. Fleck Fellowship. 
The film installation utilizes footage from the live performance of Human Measure, 2022 at Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT). Human Measure was first commissioned on the occasion of the solo exhibition, Cassils: Human Measure, 2021, HOME Manchester, curated by Bren O'Callaghan, funded by Arts Council England and Manchester City Council; and workshopped at Banff Centre with support from a Paul D. Fleck Fellowship. Human Measure was further supported by the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund. With additional thanks to the Villa Bellagio Residency through the Rockefeller Foundation, INMATT Foundation, Canadian Stage and REDCAT for their continued support. 
Please note that the exhibition contains nudity and depictions of flashing lights which may not be suitable for people with photosensitive epilepsy or other light sensitivities. 

Date: Thursday, February 15, 2024

Time: 1:30 pm - 3 pm

Location: Max Bell Auditorium


Cassils is a transgender artist who makes their own body the material and protagonist of their performances. Cassils' art contemplates the history(s) of LGBTQI+ violence, representation, struggle, survival, empowerment and systems of care. 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' work excavates historical contexts to examine the present moment.
Cassils has an upcoming solo exhibition at SITE Santa Fe and has had recent solo exhibitions at HOME Manchester; Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston; Perth Institute for Contemporary Art; Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York; Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts; School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Bemis Center, Omaha; and MU Eindhoven.
They are the recipient of funding from the Ford Foundation (2023), the National Creation Fund (2022), a 2020 Paul D. Fleck Residency at Banff Center for Arts and Creativity, 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, Artforum, Hyperallergic, Wired, The Guardian, TDR, Performance Research, Art Journal and was the subject of the monograph Cassils published by MU Eindhoven and the catalog Solutions, published by the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston (2020). Cassils' work was recently acquired by the Victoria Albert Museum, London; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and the Leslie Lohman Museum, New York.

Cassils is an Associate Professor in Visual Studies at the University of Toronto.