Human Measure

Cassils

About

Human Measure is Cassils’s debut contemporary dance work and is made in collaboration with US choreographer Jasmine Albuquerque, composer Kadet Kuhne, lighting designer Christopher Kuhl, and a team of five trans and nonbinary performers.

Against an unprecedented backdrop of US-based anti-trans legislation Human Measure asks: how do we manifest empowerment, sensuality and self actualization in a society that actively tries to erase us? Insisting upon plurality and avoiding legibility, Human Measure straddles dance and the history of photography. The work is purposefully designed to be difficult to see and is staged in low levels of red light found in photographic darkrooms. The viewer’s physiology is hijacked as live after images are seared into the audience’s retina by a massive flashing light box, culminating in the active development of one of the world’s largest cyanotypes, on stage in real time.

Rooted in kinesiology, martial arts, sports science and personal safety protocols they reinterpret Yves Klein’s Anthropometries paintings. As opposed to the models in Klein’s work who acted as passive “human paintbrushes”, the performers in Human Measure wield the double-edged sword of representation in a collective process of empowered labor.

The performance contains nudity, strobe, flashing lights and is performed in low lighting. 

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Human Measure was further supported by The National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund

Human Measure was first commissioned on the occasion of the solo exhibition, Cassils: Human Measure, 2021, HOME Manchester, UK, curated by Bren O’Callaghan.

Human Measure was developed with the support of the Paul D. Fleck Fellowship residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, with support from Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre, initiated by Carol A. Stakenas and Jacqueline Bell.

Additional thanks to the Villa Bellagio Residency through the Rockefeller Foundation, INMATT Foundation, Canadian Stage and the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT) for their continued support.

cast & crew

Creator: Cassils 

Choreographer: Jasmine Albuquerque

Lighting Designer: Christopher Kuhl

Composer: Kadet Kuhne

Cyanotype Technical Director: Bonny Taylor

Photographic Flash Advisor: Casey Cunneen

Photographic Flash Assistant: Matthew Withers

Movement: Canyon Carballosa, Cassils, Kaydence De Mere, B Gosse, Jas Lin, Alucard Mendoza McHaney

Stage Manager: Gina Young

Producers: Diana Wyenn, Plain Wood Productions; Gina Young 

Vocalists: Leslie Allison, Ben Barwick, Lucas Bouk, Caleb Craig, Noah D, Aron Dahl, C Han, Parker Heyford, Sof Kreidstein, Oliver Lyric, Valeria Radchenko, Lou Sheppard, Emma Tome, Tobaron Waxman, Vanessa Wheeler, Socks Whitmore, Sasha Wilde, Torii Wolf

Cyanotype Figures: Nano Arenado, erika niko barrios, Caleb Craig, Carmina Escobar, Rocket de la Luna, Marsian De Lellis, Aidan Dick, Sakara Fjørn, Mud Howard, Vaughan Larsen, Christina Lujan, Julietta Magaña Pérez, Lio Mehiel, Elliot Musgrave, Sydney Rogers (Miss Barbie Q), Lex Ryan, Sassy, Alec Stoddard

about the artist

Cassils

Cassils is a transgender artist who makes their own body the material and protagonist of their performances. Cassils’ art contemplates the history(s) of LGBTQI+ violence, representation, struggle, survival and empowerment. For Cassils, performance is a form of social sculpture: Drawing from the idea that bodies are formed in relation to forces of power and social expectations, Cassils’s work investigates historical contexts to examine the present moment.

Cassils has had recent solo exhibitions at HOME Manchester, Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Perth Institute for Contemporary Arts, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, NYC; Institute for Contemporary Art, AU; Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts; School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Bemis Center, Omaha; MU Eindhoven, Netherlands.

They are the recipient of the National Creation Fund (2022), a 2020 Fleck Residency from the Banff Center for the Arts, a Princeton Lewis Artist Fellowship finalist (2020), a Villa Bellagio Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (2019), a United States Artist Fellowship (2018), a Guggenheim Fellowship and a COLA Grant (2017) and a Creative Capital Award (2015). They have received the inaugural ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, California Community Foundation Grant, MOTHA (Museum of Transgender Hirstory) award, and numerous Visual Artist Fellowships from the Canada Council of the Arts. Their work has been featured in New York Times, Boston Globe, Artforum, Hyperallergic, Wired, The Guardian, TDR, Performance Research, Art Journal and was the subject of the monograph Cassils published by MU Eindhoven 92015) and their new catalog Solutions, is published by the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, TX (2020). Cassils work was recently acquired by the Victoria Albert Museum, London, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and the Leslie Lohman Museum.

Cassils is an Associate Professor in Sculpture and Integrated Practices at PRATT Institute.

workshop

Glitch in the Horizon

Workshop with Yunuen Rhi

THU, OCT 6 | 10 AM - 12 PM at REDCAT

 

Glitch in the Horizon is a two-hour workshop where we will be introduced to Baguazhang, an internal martial art that unites the mind spirit and body through a circular movement training for elevated combat and self-healing. It trains how to strengthen blood and Qi and therefore how to keep the body system in balance.

Non Binary and Transgender Dancers and Artists from the Los Angeles community and performers from Cassils’ production of Human Measure are invited to cross-pollinate in an intentional space that seeks to create community and solidarity across geographic distance, as well as holistic practices outside of our work that are mindful of performers and sustainable both spiritually, emotionally and physically.

 

To register, email redcat@calarts.edu.