In Cassils’ first ever dance piece, trans bodies made movement — and a striking canvas — as they moved in different directions in the performance piece. The piece, titled in reference to the Latin phrase for human being — “all or nothing” — opened doors for Cassils to explore new ways to engage with non-binary and fluid identities.
Dancing with the Big Guy In his second work, Dancing with the Big Guy (1996), Cassils used a large, custom-built plywood dance floor to open up spaces for performers to move across it. It is a place where identities could be changed, with the dance floor acting as a place that makes fluid differences possible.
Cassils’ works with the plywood stage, and with the plywood box itself, have been widely recognised. The plywood structure he had built in New York City had been adopted by the dance company Avant-garde Dance Company of New York City, for use during performances of their 1998 work The Last Five Years (1996): is considered by critics to be one of the greatest contributions to the visual culture of the early 20th century.
“Tectonic Tectonics” at the Museum of Modern Art In 2001, Cassils returned his art to the Museum of Modern Art, where it continues to be exhibited through summer 2016. Tectonic Tectonics: the Art of Robert Cassils at the Museum of Modern Art has opened to the public for the first time since its installation in 2006. This new exhibition also marks the first time that Cassils’ work has been included in a major museum, as opposed to an internationally recognized institution.
For the first time, the Museum of Modern Art has acquired the works of one of the world’s most renowned artists and a key figure in the history of American art. This acquisition comes in response to the museum’s desire for permanent, public exhibition space to house the museum’s growing permanent collection. The permanent collection, which was expanded to include over 2,000 works of art, will be presented alongside a series of temporary exhibitions, making its permanent home on site at the Museum of Modern Art. The acquisition of Cassils’ work is an unprecedented collaboration of the Museum of Modern Art and the Robert Cassils Foundation.
In this new version of Tectonic Tectonics