BECOMING AN IMAGE

Medium: Performance, Photography, Sculpture, Sound
Year: 2012-Present
LIVE PERFORMANCE

This performance takes place in total darkness with zero visibility. 

Becoming an Image is a piece that works at the interstices of performance, photography, and sculpture. This piece was originally conceived as a site-specific work for the ONE Archives in Los Angeles, the oldest active LGBTQ archive in the United States. Cassils unleashes an attack on a 2000 pound clay block. Delivering a series of kicks and blows in total darkness, the spectacle is illuminated only by the flash of a photographer, burning the image into the viewer’s retina. At Cassils’s solo show at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, 12 photographs were displayed. They were taken by blinded photographers who captured performances from prior exhibitions in London, Montreal, and Los Angeles.

These images depict Cassils sweating, grimacing, and flying through the air, a primal force, scarred flesh pummelling blocks of earth. Cassils unleashes an attack on a 2000 pound clay block. Delivering a series of kicks and blows in total darkness, the spectacle is illuminated only by the flash of a photographer, burning the image into the viewer’s retina. These blindly captured images depict Cassils sweating, grimacing, and flying through the air, a primal force, scarred flesh pummeling blocks of earth.

“This project by Cassils epitomizes a new mode of hybrid practices that draws on a legacy of body, conceptual, and installation art to render new complex art experiences that are performative yet exist in various material forms.”

THE DRAMA REVIEW
AMELIA JONES
SOUND

GHOST

Ghost is a 4-channel sound installation which recreates the sounds of the artist’s breath, blows, grunts, and pulse rate during one performance of Becoming An Image. We hear Cassils darting from one corner to the other and circling the listener like a ghost.

Ghost works best when installed in a small blacked out room with the four speakers hung at ear level. It has also been installed around a remnant clay bash sculpture, as well as on wireless headphones alongside large-scale photographs from the same piece. To hear Ghost, please contact the artist or Ronald Feldman Fine Arts.

“At the core of Cassils’ durational performances is this principle of calculated risk in the face of the material’s capacity, and, as Acker says, of the ultimate material, “of the body’s inexorable movement towards its final failure, toward death””

Photography and Culture
Eliza Steinbock