BODY FLUID (BLOOD)
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada

Installation view, Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo), BODY FLUID (BLOOD), Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada

In BODY FLUID (BLOOD), Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo) considers blood as a liquid that unites us all as humans while exploring the complexities of our inner workings. The exhibition 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. The works combine the intensely personal with the anonymous and uniform, considering containment, circulation and the fluidity of self. Puppies Puppies' work often draws on found objects and shared experiences to explore love, mortality, power relations and states of being.

Installation view, Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo), BODY FLUID (BLOOD), Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada
Installation view, Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo), BODY FLUID (BLOOD), Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Consultation room for HIV testing, 2019
Room, furniture, HIV testing services
Dimensions variable

The exhibition is centered around encounters and procedures. On-site HIV testing is offered in a private consultation room within the exhibition space, in collaboration with Saskatoon Sexual Health. HIV looks different and impacts people and communities differently in each unique location and context. Puppies Puppies’ artwork is coming from her personal experience, and as a trans woman she is conscious of the stigmatization and discrimination transgender and gender nonconforming people often experience. This marginalization manifests in health disparities, including significantly higher rates of HIV infection. Normalizing testing, and encouraging everyone to get an HIV test as part of their annual health routine, can lead to earlier diagnoses and better health outcomes. Supports were present on testing days to offer pre- and post-testing guidance.

Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Consultation room for HIV testing, 2019
Room, furniture, HIV testing services
Dimensions variable
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Consultation room for HIV testing, 2019 (detail)
Room, furniture, HIV testing services
Dimensions variable
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Canadian Blood Services (Blood Donation Transportation), 2019
Partnership with Canadian Blood Services

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 personal and political sensitivity around eligibility. The artist encourages donation as a vital and generous act, while also promoting discussion around criteria and risk factors. In partnership with Canadian Blood Services, transportation from the museum to a blood donation centre was offered every Saturday for the duration of the exhibition. Guests who visited the donation centre on their own were encouraged to donate blood under the code BODY175600. 

Installation view, Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo), BODY FLUID (BLOOD), Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada

With the work Blood drop stress balls (for Lutz Bacher), 2019, Puppies Puppies pays tribute to Lutz Bacher. Bacher's work Stress Balls (2012) consists of hundreds of black spheres scattered randomly on the floor. For her own piece, Puppies Puppies uses bright red stress balls shaped like blood drops, which are often used as promotional items by blood banks. Stress balls are also used during the donation process, as squeezing them encourages blood flow. Visitors were invited to interact with the work.

Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Blood drop stress balls (for Lutz Bacher)
, 2019
Scattered blood drop stress balls
Dimension variabel
Ed. 1+1AP
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Blood drop stress balls (for Lutz Bacher)
, 2019
Scattered blood drop stress balls
Dimension variabel
Ed. 1+1AP
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Human Blood Transportation Box (Canadian Blood Services)
, 2019
Canadian Blood Services transportation box
195 x 156 cm, 77 x 61in

Human Blood Transportation Box (Canadian Blood Services), 2019, presents a box used by Canadian Blood Services to transport donations. The life-and-death importance of the box’s function contrasts with the humble cardboard it is made of. Unfolded, the box takes on a bodily dimension. The flattened structure emphasizes the packaging exterior, like a skin.

Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Human Blood Transportation Box (Canadian Blood Services)
, 2019 (Detail)
Canadian Blood Services transportation box
195 x 156 cm, 77 x 61in
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Human Blood Transportation Box (Canadian Blood Services)
, 2019 (Detail)
Canadian Blood Services transportation box
195 x 156 cm, 77 x 61in
Installation view, Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo), BODY FLUID (BLOOD), Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Blood Donation Banner (Surgery)
, 2019
Vinyl banner
120 x 190 cm, 50 x 75 in
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Blood Donation Banner (Drawing Blood)
, 2019
Vinyl banner
120 x 190 cm, 50 x 75 in

This series of banners was created using images from a popular stock photography website. The images represent steps in the blood transfusion process, from donation to surgery. While these medical procedures are highly personal and often connected to traumatic life events, the images are intentionally de-personalized and anonymous. This allows them to be easily used in different contexts, as graphics for marketing materials, public campaigns or news stories.

Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Portrait (My Blood)
, 2019
The artist’s blood, blood donation bag, IV stand, fridge
Dimensions variable
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)
Portrait (My Blood)
, 2019 (Detail)
The artist’s blood, blood donation bag, IV stand, fridge
Dimensions variable

In Portrait (My Blood), 2019, the artist presents a bag of her own blood as a self-portrait. This gesture speaks to the notion of self as both a physical form, a collection of cells, and as a fluid entity, a collection of experiences, memories and social constructions. When Puppies Puppies first began exhibiting work, no additional biographical information was offered, such as place of birth, current location or other names. It is only more recently, after coming out as a trans woman, that Puppies Puppies has worked under her name Jade Kuriki Olivo. Much of her work directly reflects her experiences transitioning, and addresses issues facing the LGBTQ2S+ community. The artist was compelled to make work about blood after the mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida in 2016. It was the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQ2S+ people in the history of the United States, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others. In the aftermath, many members of the LGBTQ2S+ community wanted to donate blood in an effort to help victims. However many were deferred due to donor criteria established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Selected writings on Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)