SOLUTION: ART 101 University of Michigan Physical Violence Against Transgender Essay

Tabula Rasa #3 – Information Document
Cassils
“Becoming an Image,” “The Resilience of the 20%,” and “Monument Push”
INSTRUCTIONS:
Please follow the step-by-step process laid out in this Tabula Rasa Assignment. Complete
each part of the assignment before moving on to the next. This assignment structure is
designed to help you move consciously and carefully through the process of looking at,
interpreting, analyzing, researching about, and finally assessing an artwork or series of related
artworks. Take your time and trust your own observations and impressions!
Instructions for each step are in pink. Please download and use the Tabula Rasa Assignment
Template to record your responses to the prompts.
PART ONE
TIME:
Set a timer on your phone and spend time looking over the photo documentation of the three
interrelated artworks by Cassils below. Slow down and take your time in this first stage: look at
details in the artworks, jot down notes about what you observe, clues in the materials,
performance techniques, sound, display methods, imagery, titles, social contexts, etc. that help
you create associations, interpretations, analyses or questions about these artworks.
Remember you don’t need to know what the artist’s intentions with these works are yet – this
step is all about building your own observations and reflections based on what you see. You
need to spend enough time to watch all the video documentation of the two performative works
and look at the images and text to really build thoughtful associations to the artwork. Record
the TIME you spent in this initial phase of looking in Part One of the assignment
template.
The three works by Cassils presented here are interrelated and sequential:
• The first piece is the performance Becoming an Image, in which Cassils sculpts an


enormous block of clay with his body through violent force.
The second piece, The Resilience of the 20% is a bronze cast of the clay after the
performance is over.
The third piece, Monument Push is an interactive performance in which Cassils and a
crowd of helpers push the 1,900 pound bronze sculpture through the streets of Omaha,
NE to significant sites around the city.
1) “Becoming an Image”
***Please watch this video documentation about “Becoming an Image”***

Here are some still images from the
performance
2) “The Resilience of the 20%”
The Resilience of the 20% is a sculpture cast from the bashed clay remnant of Cassils’
Becoming An Image performance, and acts as a monument to the resilience of queer
communities. The title underscores a sickening statistic: in 2012, murders of trans
people increased by 20 percent worldwide. Cast in bronze and weighing nearly two
tons, this massive sculpture forms the centerpiece of Monument Push.
3) “Monument Push”
Monument Push is a four-hour performance of collectively pushing the 1,900 pound
bronze Resilience of the 20% sculpture pushed through the streets of Omaha, NE in
tribute to its LGBTQ History. Together with the Bemis Center of Contemporary Art and
members of Omaha’s LGBTQI+ community, Cassils worked with allies and advocates
to choose local sites of trauma, violence, celebration, resistance, and resilience.
Selected sites included the largest prison in the midwest and the site of Omaha’s first
pride parade.
***Please watch this video documentation about “Monument Push”***

Here are some still images of the “Monument Push” performance in action:
* When you have spent sufficient time looking carefully at all the documentation above
to build your initial associations with the artworks, remember to stop your phone timer
and record the TIME you spent in Part One of the assignment template. Do this before
beginning your ASSOCIATION written response.
ASSOCIATION:
In the ASSOCIATION section in Part One of the assignment template, please write about your
initial observations, thoughts, reactions, questions, gut feelings, interpretations, analyses etc.
about the artworks based on what you have seen so far in the documentation. What details did
you notice about the performances, the materials, the imagery, the way the artworks are made
or displayed, their scale, their relationship to architectural or social space, etc.? On first
observation, what about the artworks hooked you, challenged you, excited you, etc.? WHY?
Be specific! Write about your initial observations, associations and interpretations of the
artworks and discuss your experience looking at them. Note: this is a series of artworks so
please make sure you discuss all of them as they relate to each other and make sure you are
giving the titles to indicate which specific artworks you are discussing in your writing.
You will need to be precise, clear, specific and intentional with this short response. Please
record your final word count (not including any optional in-text citations) where indicated.
(200-300 words please)
END OF PART ONE
Please scroll down to begin Part Two of the assignment.
PART TWO
BACKGROUND:
STEP ONE (Provided Research): Please look at the three links provided below to gain more
background information about the artist and artworks.
STEP TWO (Independent Research): Please conduct independent research about the artist
and artworks online. Look for other articles, exhibition reviews and/or videos that help you to
understand the artist’s practice, ideas, and artworks in greater depth. (Wikipedia and Artsy are
not acceptable sources of information). Looking at the artist’s personal website or gallery’s
website are good ways to see other work they’ve made, but you’ll need to provide at least 2
sources in your bibliography that are in the form of an article, exhibition review or video with/
about the artist (list as many sources as you look at though!). In the BACKGROUND section
in Part Two of the assignment template, please record your bibliography of
independently-found research sources. Please give the title, author’s name (if available),
and website url for each source listed.
Step One (Provided Research):
Please read the pages about these works on the artist’s website:
https://www.cassils.net/cassils-artwork-becoming-an-image
https://www.cassils.net/cassils-artwork-monument-push
…and, please watch this brief documentary video about Cassils

Step Two (Independent Research):
After reading and viewing the three resources above, please begin your independent research
about the artist and his artworks (see the Background instructions above for tips if needed).
Record your bibliography of at least 2 independent sources in the BACKGROUND section of
Part Two of the assignment template.
UNDERSTANDING:
In the UNDERSTANDING section in Part Two of the assignment template, write about some of
the significant or useful things you learned through your research process about the contexts
and background for Cassils’ artworks, ideas and making process. Explain why you found these
things valuable for expanding your understanding about the artworks. Make sure that you
address specific information you gleaned BOTH from the resources provided above, AND at
least one source from your bibliography in your writing for this section. We are looking for at
least two specific references to research materials, one from materials provided for you in the
assignment and one from materials you found in your independent research (please make as
many references to materials as you like, as long as you meet this minimum requirement!).
You will need to be precise, clear, specific and intentional with this short response. Please
record your final word count (not including any optional in-text citations) where indicated.
(200-300 words please)
IMPORTANT: remember you must clearly and accurately attribute the names and titles of
people/sources you reference in your writing, and properly quote when using anyone else’s
direct words in your writing. (See the “How to Avoid Plagiarism” page in the Welcome Module
for more guidelines).
END OF PART TWO
Please scroll down to begin Part Three of the assignment.
PART THREE
LOOK AGAIN:
Take a break! Then, with fresh eyes and expanded understanding go back and look at the
artworks again. (No submission required for this step)
ASSESSMENT:
In the ASSESSMENT section in Part Three of the assignment template, describe your overall
and final impressions about these artworks based on what you were able to see, as well as the
information you gleaned about the artist and his work through research. You can discuss the
materials, the artist’s ideas, the artworks’ location, the imagery, the historical/social/economic/
political/spiritual/etc. background, your own reactions to these things, etc. Some questions that
might guide you: What have you come away with from this experience of engaging with the
given artwork? Has it shifted your thinking about the art? Do you feel the artwork is
successful? Why? What do you think this artwork does for its viewers, yourself included? Does
the artwork provoke a critical response from you, or inspiration, or other emotions? If so, what
specifically about the art prompts these reactions? Etcetera. This section is where you really
focus on articulating your own original thinking about and final assessment the artwork. You’ve
already described what you’ve observed and learned about the artwork – now is when you
should be analyzing all this information with a personal and critical lens.
You will need to be precise, clear, specific and intentional with this short response. Please
record your final word count (not including any optional in-text citations) where indicated.
(200-300 words please)
END OF PART THREE
Congratulations! You’ve completed this Tabula Rasa exercise.
ART 101 – Tabula Rasa Assignment Template
Student Name:
Tabula Rasa #:
Artist Name:
Artwork Titles:
Note: All areas marked in pink require you to enter information.
PART ONE:
Time: Please record the time you spent looking over all artwork documentation (photos and
videos, if provided):
TIME:
Association – Please record your response to the Association prompt below and record your
word count where indicated (200-300 words please)
YOUR ASSOCIATION RESPONSE:
WORD COUNT:
——————————————————————————————————————————-
PART TWO:
Background – Please record the bibliography for your independent research below with title,
author(s) name (if available) and URL link (at least 2 sources beyond those given in the
assignment document, not from Wikipedia or Artsy)
BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR YOUR INDEPENDENT RESEARCH:
Understanding – Please record your response to the Understanding prompt below and
record your word count where indicated (200-300 words please)
YOUR UNDERSTANDING RESPONSE:
WORD COUNT:
——————————————————————————————————————————-
PART THREE:
Look Again – Take a break! Then, with fresh eyes and expanded understanding go back and
look at the artwork(s) again.
Assessment – Please record your response to the Assessment prompt below and record your
word count where indicated (200-300 words please)
YOUR ASSESSMENT RESPONSE:
WORD COUNT:
——————————————————————————————————————————-

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