Artist, bodybuilder and personal trainer
Heather Cassils is a Canadian artist, body builder and personal trainer who uses an exaggerated physique to intervene and interrogate systems of power and control. Often employing many of the same strategies used by FLUXUS and guerrilla theater, Cassils’s method is multidisciplinary and cross a spectrum of performance, video, and photography. From dabbling in stunts to a stint as a semi pro boxer, Cassils’s path has led from the blaze of a full body burn to brushing lips with pop stars. Cassils’s solo physical performances are informed by a decade of working in the collective Toxic Titties, but are grounded in the exploration of the specific possibilities of the body, as both instrument and image.
Cassils has presented in galleries, museums, universities and underground sites all around the world such as: the White Chapel in London, Manifesta, Schnitt Ausstellungsraum, Edith Ruß Site for Media Art in Germany, at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwigin in Vienna, Austria, at MUCA Roma and at the International Festival, Ex-Teresa Arte Actual in Mexico City, at Art in General and Center for Performance Research in NYC, the Yurba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, at the USC Center for Feminist Research in Los Angeles as well as at Art Basel Miami Beach in Florida. Cassils’s films have shown at Outfest in Los Angeles and LGBT film festival in Paris, France among other festivals. In 2010 Cassils received the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art as well as receiving numerous prestigious grants from The Canada Council of the Arts. Featured in Out magazine's notorious Out 100 for 2010, Cassils was additionally granted a Green Card based on artistic achievement for being “An Alien of Extraordinary Ability.”