In 2002, Cassils and collaborator Clover Leary of the Toxic Titties were hired to perform in a work by Vanessa Beecroft at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. In their parasitical performance, VB Intervention, the Toxic Titties hijacked Beecroft’s work and subverted her vision by engaging the other performers in a critical dialogue and eventually unionizing them, forcing up the cost of their labor.
Cassils, Clover Leary, and Julia Steinmetz – also of the Toxic Titties – then co-authored a paper called Behind Enemy Lines: Inside Vanessa Beecroft. This is an insider account that assesses and rejects the dominant claims surrounding Beecroft’s work. It reads VB46 against the grain, asserting the active role that our bodies play in revealing the troubling mechanism of its production. This essay was published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (2006), and in the publication Art and Commerce published by Art Metropole.
Images: VB Intervention, Cassils holding a copy of Flash Art which shows the artists performance in VB 46. Notice the amount of airbrushing VB did to render Cassils body less feminine. Cassils and Leary in turn airbrush out the branding of Flash Art, reclaiming Beecrofts image. 2011, Image By Cassils and Clover Leary; Will Work for Food (part of VB Intervention).Collage: paint, marker, cover of Flash Art. 2007. Image By Cassils and Toxic Titties (Clover Leary and Julia Steinmetz); VB Intervention, Gifted and signed print by Vanessa Beecroft, of a performance still from VB 46. Image By Vanassa Beecroft. 2001; VB Intervention, Pay Check: Labor for Performance VB 46. Scanned Check. 2001. Toxic Titties