Philadelphia- Cassils’ first solo museum exhibition in the United States will feature the artist’s ground-breaking work in photography, video, sculpture, and performance. Addressing ideas on traditionally defined bodies, lack of historical representation, transphobic violence, and the presence of these issues in our own community.
Cassils’ research into the violence experienced by Philadelphia’s LGBTQ community directly informs the artist’s presentation in PAFA’s Morris Gallery. Custom wall paper consiting of police “incedent reports” on these crimes are displayed with Cassils’ potent photographs from their Becoming an Image performance. These images show Cassils sweating, grimacing, and flying through the air, a primal force pummeling a block of clay and confronting the invisible histories of violence against transgender people. Cassils will perform Becoming an Image (originally commissioned by the ONE Archives in Los Angeles, the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world) in PAFA’s historic Cast Hall on December 2, 2016. These works resonate with Thomas Eakins’ (1844 – 1916) photographs on display in the Richard C. von Hess Foundation Works on Paper Gallery. Created over 100 years apart, the work of both Cassils and Eakins crosses media boundaries (Eakins as a painter and photographer and Cassils as a multi-media artist) and pushes forward dialogues on the body, gender, and sexuality.
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