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Pissed

A PANEL & CONVERSATION WITH CASSILS, TITUS KAPHAR, CHASE STRANGIO, JOEL SANDERS, AND JACK HALBERSTAM

Announcing PISSED, a panel and conversation about art, architecture and legal action as tactics for promoting inclusivity. Held in conjunction with Cassils solo show, Monumental, at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, the presenters use their varying skill sets and imaginations to address noncompliant bodies and tactics for resistance. The event is co-sponsored by NYU’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and Department of Performance Studies, and will take place on Tuesday, September 26, 2017.

The panel will feature Cassils (trans artist, Guggenheim Fellow), Chase Strangio (ACLU lawyer for Chelsea Manning, Gavin Grimm), Joel Sanders (architect) and Titus Kaphar (painter, Artist as Activist Fellow). The event will be moderated by Jack Halberstam, Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. The panelists will discuss crossovers in their work and address alternative futures that refuse complicity in systems of oppression. Discussion topics will include Stalled!, an ongoing research initiative for promoting gender-inclusive restrooms and locker rooms.

Please join us for what promises to be a lively event!

Joel Sanders, Architect 

Author of Stud.

Stud is an interdisciplinary exploration of the active role architecture plays in the construction of male identity. Architects, artists, and theorists investigate how sexuality is constituted through the organization of materials, objects, and human subjects in actual space. This collection of essays and visual projects critically analyzes the spaces that we habitually take for granted but that quietly participate in the manufacturing of “maleness.” Employing a variety of critical perspectives (feminism, “queer theory,” deconstruction, and psychoanalysis), Stud’s contributors reveal how masculinity, always an unstable construct, is coded in our environment. Stud also addresses the relationship between architecture and gay male sexuality, illustrating the resourceful ways that gay men have appropriated and reordered everyday public domains, from streets to sex clubs, in the formation of gay social space.

Published by Princeton Architectural Press, 1996

Chase Strangio, American lawyer and transgender rights activist. 

He is a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union

Titus Kaphar:

Titus Kaphar was born in 1976 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He currently lives and works between New York and Connecticut. His artworks interact with the history of art by appropriating its styles and mediums.

Kaphar said of his work: “I’ve always been fascinated by history: art history, American history, world history, individual history – how history is written, recorded, distorted, exploited, reimagined, and understood.  In my work I explore the materiality of reconstructive history.  I paint and I sculpt, often borrowing from the historical canon, and then alter the work in some way.  I cut, crumple, shroud, shred, stitch, tar, twist, bind, erase, break, tear, and turn the paintings and sculptures I create, reconfiguring them into works that nod to hidden narratives and begin to reveal unspoken truths about the nature of history.  Open areas become active absences, walls enter into the portraits, stretcher bars are exposed, and structures that are typically invisible underneath, behind, or inside the canvas are laid bare, revealing the interiors of the work.  In so doing, my aim is to perform what I critique, to reveal something of what has been lost, and to investigate the power of a rewritten history.”

In a 2009 review in Art in America, Michele Carlson wrote, “Kaphar's practice is more than a modernist revision or a redux of the dichotomy between painter and painting. Instead, he creates new historiographic artifacts built from the physical residues and inadequacies of the past. There is a sense these works are a deeply personal response to imagined memories turned into unrecognizable histories long ago.  Perhaps they are a nod to collective histories yet to be discovered, or a reconciliation for those that never will.”

Kaphar received an MFA from the Yale School of Art, and is the distinguished recipient of the Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship. His work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA, the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY and the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA. His work is included in the collections of the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT, the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.  In late 2014, TIME magazine commissioned Kaphar to create an artwork in response to protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

Listed by the Huffington Post as “one of ten transgender artists who are changing the landscape of contemporary art,” Cassils has achieved international recognition for a rigorous engagement with the body as a form of social sculpture. Featuring a series of bodies transformed by strict physical training regimes, Cassils’ artworks offer shared experiences for contemplating histories of violence, representation, struggle, and survival. Cassils juxtaposes the immediacy, urgency and ephemerality of live performance against constructed acts for camera. Bashing through binaries, Cassils performs transgender not as a crossing from one sex to another but rather as a continual process of becoming, a form of embodiment that works in a space of indeterminacy, spasm and slipperiness. Drawing on conceptualism, feminism, body art, gay male aesthetics, Cassils forges a series of powerfully trained bodies for different performative purposes. It is with sweat, blood and sinew that Cassils constructs a visual critique around ideologies and histories.

Recent solo exhibitions include Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts; School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Bemis Center, Omaha; MU Eindhoven, Netherlands; Trinty Square Video, Toronto; and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York. Cassils’ work has also been featured at the key art for the blockbuster exhibition at the Deutsches Historisches Museum and the Schwules Museum*, Berlin, Institute for Contemporary Art and The National Theatre, London; MUCA Roma, Mexico City; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City; ANTI Contemporary Performance Festival, Kuopio, Finland; Museo da Imagem e do Som, São Paulo, Brazil; Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, San José, Costa Rica; and Deutsches Historishes Museum, Berlin, Germany. Cassils is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2016) and a Creative Capital Award (2015). They have also received the inaugural ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, Rema Hort Mann Visual Arts Fellowship, California Community Foundation Grant, MOTHA (Museum of Transgender Hirstory) award, and Visual Artist Fellowship from the Canada Council of the Arts. Cassils’ work has been featured in New York Times, Boston Globe, Artfourm, Wired, The Guardian, TDR, Performance Research, Art Journal, and Vogue Brazil and was the subject of the monograph Cassils published by MU Eindhoven in 2015.

Jack Halberstam is Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of five books including: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal(Beacon Press, 2012) and has written articles that have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and collections. Halberstam has co-edited a number of anthologies including Posthuman Bodies with Ira Livingston (Indiana University Press, 1995) and a special issue of Social Text with Jose Munoz and David Eng titled “What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now?” Jack is a popular speaker and gives lectures around the country and internationally every year. Lecture topics include: queer failure, sex and media, subcultures, visual culture, gender variance, popular film, animation. Halberstam is currently working on several projects including a book titled WILD THINGon queer anarchy, performance and protest culture, the visual representation of anarchy and the intersections between animality, the human and the environment. Halberstam is also authored a short book titled Trans* for UC Press, forthcoming in 2018.

Co-sponsored with the NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality.