Meet the Artist // Cassandra Paige

Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Cassandra delves into various artistic realms.

Cassandra’s artistic repertoire spans collage, writing, filmmaking, and acting. Her ‘Splitting’ Collage Series, crafted during her residency with the Feminist Art Collective of Toronto was exhibited at Vertigo Theatre in Calgary and featured in the winter issue of Room Magazine. Her work intricately explores the cycles of life, its impermanence, daily intimacies, and the enduring relationship with oneself.

How do you describe your practice as an artist and what inspires you to create?

My practice is experimental filmmaking, performance, and collage art.
What inspires my practice are all the little intricacies of life and all the weird quirks about being alive. The impermanence of life and just dealing with that as a concept. That comes together with the weird relationships we have with each other as humans. On the other hand, lots of movies and lots of poetry books inspired my artwork. I was raised on movies. I love some directors, a lot of their work, but I like more specific movies or individual stories or books.

How is your working process?

My way of working is definitely going with the process because even some of the cameras I’m using are really old and unpredictable, everytime I am like: we’ll see what happens. I normally have an idea of how I want to display my work, but I don’t have an idea of what the actual film is going to look like.
For instance, this project I am making in GlogauAir, it’s a lot about experimenting, the project’s about self-image and the evolution of self-image and a little bit of dysmorphia. So I am using mirrors which become really relevant in my work in a conceptual way. I like the concept of what you are able to see and what you see, that’s actually something I’m finding really interesting about Berlin where there are not a lot of mirrors. Even when you go to the bar, the bathroom mirror is covered in stickers. I kind of love it because you can’t fix yourself up or anything. I wanted to film the experimentation and the distortion of the real image, the image is not going to be perfect, I’ll just be pieces of it.


Can you remember how your artistic journey began?

I wanted to be a performer since I can remember, even being a kid and auditioning for the little plays they   had in preschool. When I was young I studied dance and then I thought about studying film and film acting. Eventually my practice evolving into film directing felt just a natural progression because I love movies so much.


And do you have any memorable story or anecdote that had an impact on you now as an artist?

The only thing that comes to mind right now is this funny story. I was in second grade and there was a play in my school, where the lead role was Elvis. I really wanted to play Elvis, but they wouldn’t allow me because I was a girl. I didn’t really care so I auditioned anyway, but I didn’t get the role.
That made me realise how stubborn I am because I just kept wanting to do it even though I was so strongly rejected and completely unable to do my dream role of playing Elvis.
I think that’s why I started directing and producing my own stuff, so I could be in my own films where I had more control. And then that kind of just kept going and I wanted to make my own things.



Do you feel like Berlin is having an impact on your work?

Of course, in Berlin there is just so much to do and so much to see. I also find that it is really hard to focus here, I want to go to everything and do all the stuff I can. There’s so much art that we’ve been seeing that it’s constantly making you think about your own practice and how you can evolve it or how you can take what you’ve seen and add it to your work.
So it’s kind of distracting because there’s too much to do and see, especially because I was born and raised in a very small town where there’s nothing to do. Basically, it’s hard to stay focused, but I’m getting lots of inspiration.

How is it impacting your work being a resident in Glogauair? How do you think other residents are influencing your work?

I think being at this artist residency has inspired my work because there are so many talented artists here who work really hard, which makes me want to work harder.
The project I am working on, that was my initial pitch. So I already came with that idea. And then as I talked to more people, I realised, oh my gosh, we’re all talking about our bodies a lot. And it seems like a lot of people are doing that. So I think it’s maybe just relevant to the times we are living in. I think there’s a lot of body positivity, but then it’s like, also it was the opposite way where plastic surgery is becoming really normalised. And it just feels like there’s a lot of body on the brain. So maybe that’s why we are all talking about the body.


And what are your plans afterwards?

Go home. Get back to work. I am doing post-production on a film that we shot this summer. So I need to go home and do that.