In conjunction with the upcoming exhibition Solutions, a mid-career retrospective featuring works by the Los Angeles-based artist Cassils, the Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston and the artist currently have a call out to the public for the ‘Houston Piss Drive.’ From September 17th through November 1, 2018, the museum will collect participants’ urine to remount Cassils’ 2017 sculpture PISSED, which is comprised of a glass cube holding 200 gallons of urine. The museum’s call states:
“Citizens, cis- and transgender alike, will hyperperform an otherwise private and bodily function, making the material needs of the body confrontationally public and social.”
Cassils’ original PISSED was exhibited in a 2017 show at Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York. For the piece, Cassils collected (the artist’s own) urine for 200 days following the Trump administration’s decision to rescind protections that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms that corresponded with their gender identity. In an interview with the Huffington Post in advance of their exhibition at Ronald Feldman Gallery, Cassils talked about their work and about their own journey as a trans person:
“I’m a firm believer in the idea that the personal is the political. In many ways, although I just said that I’m trying to make work that doesn’t speak to my body, on the flip side of that, my body is my own experience — it’s my subjectivity… . I definitely make work for queer people but I end up going to universities and lecturing and speaking to a lot of young, cis white people and I speak to those young people about trans issues, about issues of racism in relationship to visual arts practice from my perspective. I can only speak from my own perspective but at the same time I hope to offer forth something that is helpful to a multitude of people. I think of my work as a kind of porous sponge — I try to make entry points for people that have different understandings. I want to make something that’s a strong enough of an image that if you know nothing about art, you can get something from it.”
Cassils’ exhibition, Solutions, is scheduled to open in Houston on November 3rd. The show, which is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Texas, addresses themes of discrimination, violence, and the struggle for representation and survival.