Heather Cassils - Teresias

Durational Performance
2010 / 240'

Cassils is an artist and bodybuilder who uses her exaggerated physique to intervene in various contexts in order to interrogate systems of power and control. Her work provides an intimate and empowering image of her body that also symbolizes the broader efforts of the broader transgendered community dealing with body transformation and public presentation.
The performance Tiresias is inspired by the mythological character of the same name. He was the blind prophet of Thebes, famous for being transformed into a woman for seven years. Cassils wore cataract lenses to cloud her vision and held her body against a neoclassical Greek male torso, carved out of ice, to fit her body exactly. Throughout the event, she melted the torso with her own body heat, enacting the gender transformation. She casts the myth of Tiresias as a story of endurance and transformation, in which masculinity both freezes the body, and melts it away.