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From sticky to crusty, pliable to powdery, and shaped to shapeless, clay’s ability to transform in real time is prompting a new generation of artists to explore the possibilities of this ancient material. RAW features new work by four artists who are pushing boundaries with unfired clay: Cassils, Magdolene Dykstra, Azza El Siddique, and Linda Swanson. See it now!
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As part of the Gardiner’s free online series 3 Works, guest artist Cassils speaks to Chief Curator Sequoia Miller about three of their artworks in relation to the theme “Spaces.” One of the works, a performance piece titled Up To and Including Their Limits that premiered at the Gardiner on February 20, 2020, was commissioned for the current special exhibition RAW. The other works include Becoming an Image, an endurance-based performance piece, and In Plain Sight, their most recent collaborative project.
In connection to Nuit Blanche‘s curatorial theme “The Space Between Us,” the conversation between Cassils and Sequoia speaks to the ways that Cassils’ work and activism highlight and problematize physical and social spaces that separate us from one another. Their conversation pays special attention to power dynamics shaped by gender and citizenship status, encouraging us to continue to examine urgent issues of the present day.
About the Artist
CASSILS is a visual artist working in live performance, film, sound, sculpture and photography. They have achieved international recognition for a rigorous engagement with the body as a form of social sculpture. It is with sweat, blood, and sinew that Cassils constructs a visual critique around ideologies and histories. Cassils received their Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax (1997) and their Master of Fine Arts in Art and Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (2002). Their work has been shown in exhibitions worldwide. Solo exhibition venues include the Perth Museum of Contemporary Art, Perth; Station Museum, Texas; and Ronald Feldman Gallery (NYC) and Trinity Square Video (Toronto). They have also received several awards, fellowships, and residencies, including support from the Canada Council for the Arts (2020), John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), and Creative Capital (2015). Cassils is a Villa Bellagio Rockefeller Foundation Fellow.
Header image: Cassils, Up To and Including Their Limits (Gardiner Museum, Toronto), 2020. Photo: Cassils with Alejandro Santiago
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