Artists Alicia, Kelly and Sara Casilio—identical triplets—and photographer Cary Wolinsky founded TRIIIBE in 2006 to make political and social commentary art.
They got to work creating performances, photographs, and films. In late 2009 TRIIIBE invited the boards of directors of the Griffin Museum of Photography and the Photographic Resource Center in Boston to view their first body of work.
That meeting resulted in three major, solo exhibitions in 2010/2011. The first opened at Gallery Kayafas in Boston in April 2010. In addition to showing their photographic work TRIIIBE performed three times during the six-week show. The show received good press from the Boston Globe and other Boston based outlets. According to Arlette Kayafas, the gallery’s director, the TRIIIBE show was one of the venue’s most successful in terms of attendance and sales.
In November of 2010, TRIIIBE opened the site-specific exhibition, In Search of Eden, A Work in Progress at Boston University's 808 Gallery, an 11,000 square foot space. TRIIIBE created seven, large (10' high by 13' wide) photographic triptychs that filled the windows facing busy Commonwealth Avenue at the height of the holiday season. Taking on the look of religious art and advertising, the triptychs drew steady traffic during the two months that show was on display.
Inside the vast, darkened space TRIIIBE created a small, chapel-like building where visitors could "take tea" with the artists or find them painting a trompe l'oeil dome. Musicians from the Boston Conservator filled the air with music. The show finished up with a New Year's celebration.
Filmmaker, Yari Wolinsky made a series of films documenting the making of the In Search of Eden, A Work in Progress. View the films.
In January 2011, as work from the Eden show was still being packed, an exhibition of TRIIIBE work opened at DODGEgallery in New York. The Dodge show drew the interest of many collectors from around the country. Art in America ran a piece about TRIIIBE in March of 2011.
TRIIIBE is a collaborative that obscures the seams of authorship, fusing the input of several parties, most prominently that of photographer Cary Wolinsky and triplets Alicia, Kelly and Sara Casilio. In the way one can imagine the social futility of distinguishing identical sisters growing up, the collaboration required by a multi-media production (including performance, photography, and installation) evades singularity. In fact, TRIIIBE’s intent is to shake-up and shift familiar modes of behavior by confusing boundaries and challenging definitions of self.
TRIIIBE raises critical dialogue in their work through usurping stereotypes, borrowing outward signs of observed identities. Like the identity chameleon Nikki S. Lee, TRIIIBE takes dress-up to an uncompromising, passable extent. The difference is, TRIIIBE is not infiltrating social contexts to be subsumed and accepted, they seek visibility in order to call our social constructs into question. Their work also relates to the persona shifting of icon Cindy Sherman, however, the tripling of TRIIIBE’s dress-up brings a whole new measure of disruption to identity politics.
Picture three identical women dressed in an exacting fashion and behaving in unison in public. Imagine riding the train to work on a Wednesday morning and seeing three indistinguishable women wearing matching business suits, while periodically sipping their coffee in unison. The tripling of outfit and gesture infuses a lucid consciousness into an otherwise mundane, habitual circumstance. Suddenly, our compliance with a daily routine is disrupted by the extraordinary, and our patterns start to look like choice rather than inevitability.
In a number of their pieces, the triplets take on three distinct, yet conflicting identities, complete with passable signifiers- a hoodie, a burka, or heels. In these constructed circumstances, they are often performing the same gesture- leaning against a bar or standing frontal to the camera. The uncanny result is that they are each dressed in shocking, disruptive difference, yet their faces and bodies are clearly discernible as being the same. Picture three women standing side-by-side holding their pregnant bellies- one looks punk, one preppie and the other Latina. Despite the striking independence of their attire, the sameness of their circumstance, gesture, and faces brings attention to commonality, and calls to question the superficiality of difference. Identity starts to look like a performance, and the question arises, at what point does difference become a construct?
Whether they are dressed identically, or whether they each adopt characteristics that are in sharp contrast to one another, it’s impossible to look away from the performances and photographs of TRIIIBE. In the same way, you can’t take your eyes off of a car accident, or a deformity, TRIIIBE’s work provokes a visceral uncertainty and an indulgent fascination.
—Kristen Dodge, curator
To license TRIIIBE photographs for publication or other uses, you may contact us directly.