HIV testing and blood donation offered at Saskatoon art museum exhibit
“Body Fluid” launched Saturday in the Connect Gallery and includes an opportunity to donate blood and get tested for HIV in a private consultation room in partnership with Saskatoon Sexual Health and Canadian Blood Services.
The exhibit looks at blood and how it connects people while serving as a meaningful look into artist Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo)’s life experiences involving the substance.
“It’s looking at blood through a number of different ways,” said Rose Bouthillier, Remai Modern’s curator of exhibitions.
“There’s all of these different ways to participate and engage, and ultimately, we want the museum interesting and relevant and sometimes challenging conversations can take place,” she said.
Puppies saw her parents donate blood at a young age and wanted to do so as well, but under U.S. Food and Drug Administration eligibility criteria, she’s not able to donate.
She’s part of the queer community and understands the personal and political sensitivity around eligibility, and with “Body Fluid,” she hopes to create thought-provoking experiences on the topic.
In partnership with CBS, transportation from the museum to a blood donation centre is offered every Saturday at 11 a.m. for the duration of the exhibition. Guests who visit the donation centre on other days are encouraged to donate under the code BODY175600.
Aside from the physical aspect of the art, Bouthillier added there’s “a number of works by the artist that explore identity and blood in sculptures and images in installations.”
The exhibit is free to attend and those who do not want to partake in the donation of blood or HIV testing are encouraged to support those who do or to take in the other aspects of the exhibit.