(Los Angeles, CA)Heather Cassils
Cassils is an artist, stunt person and a body builder who uses an exaggerated physique to intervene in various contexts in order to interrogate systems of power and control. Often employing many of the same strategies used by FLUXUS and guerrilla theater, the method is multidisciplinary and crosses a spectrum of physical culture, cinematic production and live art performance. Cassils has exhibited in the U.K., Germany, at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna, Austria, at Art in General in NYC, at the USC Center for Feminist Research in Los Angeles and at Art Basel Miami Beach in Florida.
Hard Times is a live performance informed by Los Angeles body building culture, Greek mythology and experimental film. This solo physical performance is about the production and effort that goes into upholding a superficial image. Holding muscular contractions for extended periods causes an overload of the central nervous system - all of Cassils' limbs convulse and shake uncontrollably. Culturally and politically, we are in a state of rotting from the inside out. Hard Times responds to the culture of consumption and denial with an image of a body that sputters and twitches with exertion to maintain its manicured surface.
Photo credits from left to right: Tracy Mostovoy, Tracy Mostovoy, Clover Leary.