Visual Arts, 2015

Listed by the Huffington Post as “one of ten transgender artists who are changing the landscape of contemporary art,” Cassils has achieved international recognition for a rigorous engagement with the body as a form of social sculpture. Featuring a series of bodies transformed by strict physical training regimes, Cassils’ artworks offer shared experiences for contemplating histories of violence, representation, struggle, and survival. Cassils juxtaposes the immediacy, urgency and ephemerality of live performance against constructed acts for camera. Bashing through binaries, Cassils performs transgender not as a crossing from one sex to another but rather as a continual process of becoming. 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’ work has been exhibited widely including the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MU in Eindhoven, Holland, and the National Theatre in London.  They received a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship and numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and a MOTHA award. Their films have premiered at Sundance Film Festival and the Institute for Contemporary Art in London.

Awards and Accomplishments

2017: COLA Individual Artist Fellowship

2017: John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship

2016: Alpert Visiting Artist Fellowship, Syracuse University

2016: Foundation for Contemporary Art Emergency Grant

2015: Canada Council for the Arts Media Arts Grant

2015: Canada Council of the Arts Inter-Arts Touring Grant

2015: Canada Council of the Arts Inter-Arts Travel Grant

2014: Inaugural International Prize for Live Art, ANTI Contemporary Art Festival, Finland

2014: Rema Hort Mann Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship

2013: MOTHA Art Awards (Museum of Transgendered Art) for Best Solo Exhibition

2013: Fellows of Contemporary Art Nominee

2012: Canada Council of the Arts, Long Term Assistance Grant to Visual Artists (2012-14)

2012: California Community Foundation Visual Artist Fellowship

2010: Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions Artist Research Grant

2010: Canada Council of the Arts Inter-Arts Travel Grant

2009: Canada Council of the Arts Inter-Arts Creative Production Grant

2009: Franklin Furnace Performance Art Fund