Tiresias is a durational performance in which Cassils melts a neoclassical Greek male ice sculpture with pure body heat.
The mythological figure of Tiresias, known as the blind prophet of Thebes, was transformed from a man into a woman for seven years. By pressing their body against the ice torso, Cassils demonstrates both the instability of the body and desire for a certain unsustainable physique. Recasting the myth of Tiresias as a story of endurance and transformation, Cassils performs the resolve required to persist at the point of contact between masculine and feminine.
“As with most of Cassils’s performances, Tiresias is about endurance and transformation, but it is also about physical process’s intersection with the disjunctures from the visual and vision itself”
Tiresias is presented as a life size video installation, featuring an ambient sound track blending birdsong, the sound of melting ice, and a vocal performance of Winterreise (Winter Journey), a song cycle for voice and piano by Franz Schubert. Tiresias was clairvoyant and interpreted birdsong to predict the future. Sound design is made in conjunction with Kadet Kuhne, with vocals performed by the artist’s brother, Matthew Cassils, a classically-trained opera singer.