Graciela Cassel is an artist working in a variety of genres and materials: video, installation, drawing and painting. Her artwork investigates questions of identity, reality and fantasy, the objective and the subjective. In her art statement Graciela says: "It is my belief that artwork, a place of intersection and metaphors, is not an isolated event but explores concepts that can exemplify a way of thinking, living, and working."
Graciela came to New York from Argentina, and the same as Argentinian famous writers Jorge Juis Borges and Julio Cortázar she has a particular inclination to labyrinths, mirages and portals.
Many of Graciela Cassel’s video works are about New York. She presents subway trains and water towers as structural elements of a “parallel” city that is both real and imaginary.
We met with her at her cozy house in Queens which includes her art studio. Treating me to delicious snacks, Graciela admitted that she misses warm and hospitable Argentine culture, where people like to visit each other and often gather around the table for the sake of conversation. Striving to recreate this “lost paradise” in New York, Graciela Cassel organized Transborder Art project, the place where artists can come together to discuss topics that concern them.
Light Dreams Inside Out
“Light Dreams In and Out” deals with our desires and fears to live our lives fully. Two mythological characters, half wolf and half human, take a journey that serves to resolve their isolation and alienation by confronting their fears and embracing their destinies. In their dreams, they realize that they must abandon their wolf masks and claim their humanity in order to become integrated with the world. They dance with the moon as a symbol of this transformation. This is a joyful dance which connects humans, the city in which they live, and the nature that is all around them.
The images from the video projection of City-life II move quickly in the sky, acting as the memories, dreams, and the action of these inhabitants. The windows of trains moving appear as new realities. In this process, a new city is created where the actions of the inhabitants are present as extensions of their ideas but their appearances are almost invisible.