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So this piece was created over a two year period, there are two iterations. The first phase of the project happened before, in 2014 and 2015, and involved the blood donations of 9 very particular men, all with very unique stories and life perspectives about hypocrisy and policy. AM: Who are some of the individuals who donated blood for the project? Why were they selected, what are their stories? JE: These are some of those blood donors. Oliver Anene is a LBGT activist from Nigeria who is here in the US on political asylum. It is ironic and sad how his participation of the project has a different meaning now in 2018, even though we’re thinking of the FDA’s policy on blood donations, blood is something that is in all human beings – a life force for everyone in the world. So it was important to ask someone very far away to be represented. Blue Bayer is a bisexual father of two, so it really humanizes his inability to donate blood for his own children should they need it. Howard Grossman, M.D., is the medical supervisor on the project, and well as a blood donor, he is a classic AIDS specialist, on the front lines of HIV/AIDS for 30 somewhat years. Kelsey Louis is the CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Lawrence D. Mass, M.D., is the co-founder of GMHC and the first writer to write about AIDS back in the 80’s. The Reverend John Moody, he is an openly gay priest and part of Trinity Wall St, coincidentally where the first act of protest was. Reverend Moody was important so someone could speak about the spirituality of the blood and it’s so often connected to a lot of religious iconography, rituals and the deep humanity of it. Loren Rice is a transgender man, who at the time he donated blood he was married to another transgender man. What’s interesting about this that the transgender men can be self-identifiable, but that means if you check the box

you’re with another transgender man, meaning that checking the box confers you slept with another man, and in so, then disqualified from giving blood. What about monogamously married people, there is CPT Anthony Woods who is married, but is also in the project because he led two terms in Iraq, and he could shed his blood on the battlefield and cannot donate blood to save lives. It is so crazy especially when donation is supposed to be this patriotic, symbolic duty. Ty Spicha is an identical twin, he is gay and is brother is straight. They have the same DNA but only one can donate because one is gay and one isn’t. So all of that was done in 2014-2015. AM: Where else has the Blood Mirror been featured? JE: The sculpture premiered in Washington DC at the American History Museum and travelled from there to here in New York, at Trinity Wall St. Then from there, it came back to my studio and we did another iteration of the project, where we created a blood drive for 50 men donating a tube of blood, on PrEP to make a joint human pint, and that was added to the piece and preserved. The viewer essentially becomes another participant in the piece because of the nature of being a mirror – you can see yourself through the blood of men whose blood would have been used for life-saving purposes. AM: What is it like to tell stories with blood, tell us more about yourself? I’m an artist and have been working in blood for almost 20 years. Most of my work was done from blood procured from a slaughterhouse and addresses different themes, more philosophically driven, spirituality, regeneration, lifecycle, and the body. This is the first human blood project and happy it is here in the Museum of the City of New York. 55 of the donors are New Yorkers, so I

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Athleisure Mag Sep 2018