PUPPIES PUPPIES (JADE KURIKI OLIVO)
BODY FLUID (BLOOD)
Remai Modern hosts the first solo museum exhibition in North America by Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo), a young artist quickly gaining recognition in the global art community for projects that are expansive, disarming and personal. BODY FLUID (BLOOD) is a new project by the artist that considers blood as a liquid that unites us all, while exploring the complexities of our inner workings. In addition to a major new installation, the project includes a partnership with Canadian Blood Serves (CBS) to facilitate donations, and provides access to on-site HIV testing, consultation and community resources.
“Remai Modern aims to be a museum that supports artists early in their careers, enabling them to realize new and challenging projects,” said Rose Bouthillier, Curator (Exhibitions). “Puppies Puppies’ work is personal, unconventional and thought-provoking. This exhibition brings critical issues into the museum. It’s an opportunity to connect with the artist’s unique perspective, while also raising visibility for the important work that community organizations are doing in Saskatoon.”
The exhibition, which is also Puppies Puppies’ first solo project in Canada, is formed around a constellation of issues and themes: the artist’s family connections and influences, what it means to share and give blood, and what blood may carry or transmit.
As a child, Puppies Puppies saw both of her parents donate blood. She wanted to do the same when she got older, but has not been able to under the eligibility criteria established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
As a member of the queer community, Puppies Puppies acknowledges the sensitivity around eligibility. The artist encourages donation as a vital and generous act, while also promoting discussion around criteria and risk factors.
In collaboration with Saskatoon Sexual Health, on-site HIV testing is offered in a private consultation room within the exhibition space at Remai Modern. Through this presence, testing can be de-stigmatized while raising awareness of HIV prevention, care and community resources.
“With the high prevalence of HIV in Saskatchewan, it is extremely important that we recognise the necessity of accessible HIV testing, especially in a province where rates are double the national average,” said Heather Hale, Executive Director at Saskatoon Sexual Health. “HIV looks different now, it affects people from a wide range of backgrounds, and the only way for an individual to know for certain if they have HIV is to get tested. Through this partnership with Remai Modern we are able to increase the visibility and the practice of routine HIV testing in the community.”
In preparation for Puppies Puppies’ exhibition, Remai Modern’s programming staff met with representatives from additional community organizations including OUTSaskatoon, AIDS Saskatoon and Persons Living with AIDS Network of Saskatchewan. These organisations offered their expertise on the issues addressed in the project, including hosting educational sessions for Remai Modern staff.
HIV testing will be available at Remai Modern at specific times and dates until the end of the exhibition.
Courtesy of the artist and Remai Modern, Saskatoon
Photo by Blaine Campbell