Becoming An Image
Date2012 - Present
BECOMING AN IMAGE is a body of work consisting of a live performance, photographs, a sculpture and an audio piece. The performance is designed for the camera, specifically the act of being photographed. Taking place in a blacked out room, the only elements in the space are the audience, a photographer, the performer and a block of clay weighing 1500 pounds (around the same height and width of Cassils body).
In the darkness, I use my skills as a boxer/ MMA fighter to unleashing an assault where I literally beat the material, moulding the form. A "sculpting" process results on account of my blows. For the duration of this performance I am blind, as is the audience, as is the photographer. The only light source emitted comes from the flash mounted on the photographer's camera. This burst of temporary light allows the audience to glimpse at suspended moments of the performance, much like a "live" photograph, burning this image into their retina, which leave ghost like traces. The act of photographing is the only way in which the performance is made visible.
Originally commissioned by the ONE Archives (the oldest active Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning (LGBTQ) organization in the United States.) Becoming an Image addressed LGBTQ archives and the "Ts" and "Qs" often missing from historical records, which exist outside of the lens. BAI brings forth the idea of accountability by directly address the role between artist and photographer. Additionally it calls into question the roles of the witness, the aggressor and documenter by building these challenges into the very act of the performance itself.
Photography: Eric Charles and Heather Cassils Sound Design and Composer: France Jobin