Cassils: Human Measure


Cassils is a transgender visual artist who makes their own body the material and protagonist of their performances. Working in live performance, sculpture, photography, sound design and film, Cassils contemplates the history(s) of LGBTQI+ violence, representation, struggle and power.

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, their work investigates historical contexts to examine the present moment.

Referencing conceptualism, feminism, and body art, Cassils powerfully trains their body for different performative purposes, committing to a process of extreme physical and psychological endurance. By positioning their body as a battleground, it is with sweat, blood, and sinew that Cassils shares experiences for contemplating histories of violence, representation, struggle, and survival.

Curated by Bren O’Callaghan for HOME, Manchester, Human Measure will be Cassils’ first UK solo exhibition and a 10-year survey at a critical moment for advocacy.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the world premiere of Cassils’ first piece of contemporary dance, Human Measure (2021). A collaboration with choreographer Jasmine Albuquerque, who has worked with the likes of St Vincent, Devandra Banhart, Laura Marling and Mike Mills, the performance will draw upon personal safety, vulnerability and problematises visibility in a moment of heightened violence against the GNC/Trans community.


Exhibition preview | info
Cassils: In Conversation | tickets
Human Measure Live |tickets
Cassils: Short Films | tickets
Artist & Curator Exhibition Tour | tickets
Curator Exhibition Tour | tickets
Human Musings | tickets

Further events and screenings will be announced shortly.

With thanks

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

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

With additional thanks to Canadian Stage and for their continued assistance. 




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Events and response

An artist advisory group of trans and non-binary creatives have engaged in dialogue upon the occasion to devise a range of public-facing responses. Chester Tenneson and Zorian Clayton will shape a series of critical and creative essays, with by Dominic Johnson (Professor of Performance and Visual Culture, Queen Mary University, London), writer and artist Jay Bernard, and Libro Levi Bridgeman (Hotpencil Press).

Filmmaker Campbell X will curate a film series that celebrates trans/non-binary joy and desire, while a screening of shorts by Cassils will include additional archival and documentary footage. Curator Bren O’Callaghan will host a Q&A, and UK-based Zimbabwean writer and performer mandla rae will explore ritual and remembrance with a performative assembly.

With thanks to Kate O’Donnell, founder of Trans Creative, for ongoing encouragement.