The recent government review of the UK Gender Recognition Act fell short of promises to reform and remove the need for a medical diagnosis in order to self-identify, omitting legal recognition for non-binary persons or support for minors. Toxic online abuse by those purporting to champion women’s rights and the rise of far-right forums have contributed to a trebling in anti-trans hate crimes since 2014, with Great Britain placed 10th across Europe in terms of LGBTQI+ liberties according to ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Europe Map, rating particularly low for hate crime, legal gender recognition and bodily integrity.
It is against this backdrop we present the world premiere of Cassils’ first piece of contemporary dance, Human Measure (2021), building upon Cassils’ knowledge of kinesiology, martial arts and sports science to reinterpret Yves Kline’s Anthropometries paintings. In addition to being an artist, Yves Kline was a judo master. Kline published The Foundations of Judo (1954), a book illustrated with hundreds of photographs of Klein performing the movements that form the basis of judo.
Cassils references this work to demonstrate movements grounded in oppression and resilience, culminating as the dancers’ bodies impress a stain upon a giant cyanotype – to be exposed the colour of “International Yves Klein Blue”. A collaboration with choreographer Jasmine Albuquerque, the performance will draw upon personal safety, vulnerability and problematises visibility in a moment of heightened violence against the GNC/Trans community.
Human Measure Live is presented as part of the solo exhibition Cassils: Human Measure (2 Oct – 12 Dec 2021), curated by Bren O’Callaghan.
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Photos by Manuel Vason