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Cassils: Movement

Cassils: Movement

'Cassils: 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 installation is the first in a series of new works which translate 'Human Measure,' Cassils’ first contemporary dance, into visceral, immersive, visual and sonic installations. The exhibition consists of a film installation and a large-scale cyanotype, which document the live performance while transforming it into new artworks.

The Gallery is open Wednesday - Sunday | 12:30 - 5 pm

Event Overview

February 16 - June 9, 2024
12:30 - 5 pm
Walter Phillips Gallery
Free Event
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The film installation consists of documentation of the performance of 'Human Measure,' which involves five trans* identified dancers. Created with acclaimed choreographer Jasmine Albuquerque, the dance is inspired by members of the group’s participation in self-defense workshops. It reconfigures the ubiquitous threat of violence experienced by trans* bodies into poetic compositions that evoke the erotic power of trans* collectivity. The installation deconstructs the photographic process, using the elements of exposure and development in order to point to the moments that exist outside the lens of the camera.

Central to the exhibition is 'Human Measure (Developed) No. 2,' a large-scale cyanotype on fabric. 'Human Measure (Developed) No. 2' is reflective of Cassils' ongoing critical engagement with twentieth-century artist Yves Klein. In his series of paintings, 'Anthropométries,' Klein instructed women to dip their bodies in blue paint and press themselves onto a substrate, a process he likened to the use of 'living brushes.' Cassils’ cyanotype implicitly critiques Klein’s instrumentalization of female bodies. Instead, made outdoors and exposed through sunlight, it serves as reference to the performance and its evocation of queer collectivity and self-determination. 'Human Measure (Developed) No. 2' can be read simultaneously as protest banner, artwork, and performance document.

The film is projected above a large pool of water, which doubles its imagery, reminiscent of a Rorschach test. It is accompanied by a reinterpretation of Yves Klein's 1949 'Monotone Symphony,' composed by Cassils’ longtime collaborator Kadet Kuhne. This sonic composition consists of a single note, sung by seventeen trans* vocalists, each singing one of the seventeen octaves from a D Major chord. The sound of trans* voices literally ruptures the smooth surface of the water.

'Movement' furthers Cassils’ long-standing engagement with questions of trans* visibility: exploring abstraction as a refuge from the enforced spectacularity of trans* bodies in a moment of heightened political violence.

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.

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