Cassils has achieved international recognition for a rigorous engagement with the body as a form of social sculpture and was listed as “one of ten transgender artists who are changing the landscape of contemporary art” by the Huffington Post. Bashing through gendered binaries, Cassils performs transgender not as a crossing from one sex to another but rather as 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, 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.
Cassils is the recipient of a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2015 Creative Capital Award. Recent solo exhibitions include Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York; Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE; Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts; School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; MU Eindhoven, Netherlands; and Trinity Square Video, Toronto. They are also recipients of the inaugural ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, the Rema Hort Mann Visual Arts Fellowship, the California Community Foundation Grant, the Museum of Transgender Hirstory (MOTHA) award, and several grants from Canada Council for the Arts. Cassils’ work has been featured in New York Times, Boston Globe, Artforum, Hyperallergic, Wired, The Guardian, TDR/The Drama Review by MIT Press, Performance Research, Art Journal and was the subject of the monograph, Cassils, published by MU Eindhoven in 2015.
Portrait photo by Robin Black.