“In this solo exhibition comprising primarily live performances and installations, the Los Angeles–based and gender-nonconforming artist Cassils uses their naked body to explore the often pervasive violence against LGBTQI subjects. Their performance Becoming an Image, 2013–, pivots around the artist pummeling a 2,000-pound mass of clay in a pitch-black room. What the audience experiences, positioned around this main action, is chiefly aural: They hear Cassils breathing or the moments when their fists hit the clay. However, the artist has strategically positioned a photographer, whose camera’s flash illuminates the scene for brief moments of time. The resulting, spectral afterimage is a metaphor for the fugitive yet irrepressible histories of trauma hinted at by the exhibition’s title, “Phantom Revenant.”
Excerpt written by Alpesh Kantilal Patel
Read the full review here.