Hard Times (2010)

Cassils transgresses social gender constructions in Hard Times (2010). Throughout the performance, Cassils alludes to Tiresias—a blind prophet in Greek mythology that mediates between male/female, blind/seeing, and present/future. Cassils poses on a scaffold in a coral bikini, blond wig, and prosthetic mask that blinds their vision while the audience gazes at their body. They perform literal and figurative gestures that subvert iconography in classical sculpture and portraiture. Cassils provokes affect through body language that works to liberate gender binaries and standards of beauty. Ultimately, Cassils employs a trans temporality by creating an image over the course of the performance that challenges superficial understandings of gender identity.

CASSILS uses the body as a sculptural mass to deconstruct societal norms. By using a queer lens to examine physical training, kinesiology, and sports science, Cassils manipulates their body into a shape that defies the gender binary. They perform trans identity not as transitioning from one sex to another, but as a continual process of becoming. It is with sweat, blood, and sinew that Cassils constructs a visual critique around gender ideologies. Drawing on body art, feminism, gay male aesthetics, conceptualism, and Hollywood cinema, they create a visual language that is emotionally striking and conceptually incisive. www.cassils.net