My work addresses the messy and wondrous nature of being human, our connection to the land, and to each other. I’m a visual artist working in photography, video, writing, sculpture and other media. My work creates an intense connection with the viewer by incorporating sound and touch with visual elements and challenging viewers to reflect on topics of social justice and human rights. Growing up in multiple identities as a queer, mixed-ethnicity, diasporan American, I’m passionate about amplifying diverse voices that inspire change, particularly highlighting the role that women play in the survival and evolution of cultures and communities. Increasingly, my work connects to the ancestral while envisioning and embodying a futurist perspective on the beauty of our humanity and the creative forces we gather in community.
My work uses historical motifs, objects, rituals and places to anchor visions of the future in my ancestral culture. I often work in collaboration with my subjects to create a shared vision. Recent work has used these cultural markers in sculptures impressed with objects holding memory, videos of shared cultural rituals that access past, present, and future at once, and portraits of people in the SWANA (South West Asian and North African) diaspora in conversation about our visions for a future based on connection and mutual support. These portraits are complex digital collages of the people, places, and objects that are part of both our shared culture and our diversity. Other recent works are directly influenced by the futurist writing of science fiction authors like Octavia Butler, Rivers Solomon, and Becky Chambers. My work stimulates connection and empathy in the viewer, among the most important experiences for transformational thinking that envisions positive futures. This informs my practice and my belief that art can be a catalyst for change.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
“Kristin Anahit Cass is an artist working in photography, video, writing, sculpture and other media. Cass’s work imagines the future, touches the past, and envisions a better world. As Lori Waxman noted in New City, her “portraits, of both people and places, are composed with a tender straightforwardness that befits each particular subject. Instead of the aestheticized ruins of disaster porn, moments of human resilience shine through alongside the trauma.” In addition to her arts education, Cass has worked with women and minority owned businesses, artists, and nonprofits in her career as a lawyer. She is one of the founders of the LGBTQ platform Entanik (Family) where she is active in supporting creatives in the global community.
Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions including Borderlands Under Fire and The New Freedom Fighters: Women and Nonviolent Resistance at the Stamelos Gallery Center at the University of Michigan, Witness: The Artist’s Response at Elephant Room Gallery in Chicago, Chicago Neighborhoods at the Hairpin Gallery in Chicago and SLAYSIAN 2.0 at Co-Prosperity in Chicago. Her Borderlands Under Fire project was a finalist for the 2018 Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize. Cass is a graduate of the University of Chicago.
You can find her work at kristincass.com, on Instagram at KristinAnahitCassProjects, on Facebook at Kristin Cass Photography, and on LinkedIn at Anahit Cass
© Kristin Anahit Cass