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Blood Mirror is a sculpture and collaborative project, created with 59 blood donations from gay, bisexual, and transgender men, that advocates for equality and protests the U.S. government's stigmatizing and discriminatory blood ban.* Blood Mirror was created in two phases between 2014 and 2016. The first phase involved an extraordinary group of nine individuals, each with unique life experiences and perspectives, highlighting the hypocrisy and repercussions of the ban and the importance of full equality. The second phase combined blood from a community of 50 PrEP† advocates, each of whom donated a single tube of blood – 50 tubes equals a full pint, the amount in a standard blood donation. The blood in the sculpture is encased in resin and fully preserved, archiving the blood and ensuring that the organic material will not change over time. Viewers can enter the sculpture and see themselves reflected in blood that could have been used for life-saving purposes.

*In 1983, in an early response to the AIDS crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented a lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men. More than 30 years later, in December 2015, the FDA updated its policy to allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood, but only if they are celibate for a full year. There is no celibacy requirement for heterosexuals, regardless of their risk for contracting HIV. A UCLA Williams Institute study found that lifting the ban completely could save up to a million lives annually.

†Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), is a daily pill proven to be 99.9% effective in preventing HIV transmission (iPrEx trial).

 

 
 

Blood Mirror, 2015-present
84 x 28 x 28"
59 human blood donations, blood of Oliver Anene, Blue Bayer, Howard Grossman, M.D., Kelsey Louie, Lawrence D. Mass, M.D., Reverend John Moody, Loren Rice, Ty Spicha, CPT Anthony Woods, 50 PrEP advocates, preserved in UV resin

Medical Supervisor, Howard Grossman, M.D.
Medical Technician, Wayne Burns

Installation view (above), Trinity Wall Street, New York, NY (2015)

Installation view (left), American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC, (2015)

Installation view (below), Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, AL (2017)

Blood Mirror Video 1, 2015 (above) Blood Mirror Video 2, 2016 (below)
in collaboration with Leo Herrera and The Carry Nation

 
 

Studio view, (2016)

 

Installation view, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, AL (2017)

 

Blood Mirror, 2015-present (detail)

 
 

Portrait inside Blood Mirror for Hello Gorgeous Magazine (2017)

 
 

Untitled2015
36 x 12 x 12"
Blood bags, blood collection tubes, brushes, medical protective gear, preserved in plexiglass, UV resin

Installation view, American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC (2015)

 

Untitled2015 (detail)

 

Installation view, Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Art, Birmingham, AL (2017)

 

Installation view, Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Art, Birmingham, AL (2017)

 

Latex Gloves/Blue Scrubs, 2016 (detail)

 

Latex Gloves/Blue Scrubs, 2016 (detail)

 
 

Community Pint, 2016
84 x 28 x 2"
50 labeled blood collection tubes, preserved in plexiglass, UV resin

 
 

Community Pint, 2016 (detail)

 
 

Blood Flag, in collaboration with Jonny Cota of SKINGRAFT2015-2016
84 x 53"

Sublimation print on fabric of red blood cells and thread stained in blood of Oliver Anene, Blue Bayer, Howard Grossman, M.D., Kelsey Louie, Lawrence D. Mass, M.D., Reverend John Moody, Loren Rice, Ty Spicha, CPT Anthony Woods, grommets, additional HIV testing blood samples from 27 individuals.

 
 
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Blood Equality was launched in partnership with FCB Health, GMHC, and the Blood Mirror project to raise awareness of the FDA's discriminatory blood donation policy and advocate for equality.

Blood Equality Campaign

 

 

Blood Equality at the Hammer Museum 
November 22, 2016
Los Angeles, CA

Co-presented by the Williams Institute

Moderator:
– Mark Joseph Stern, writer, Slate.com

Panelists:
– Jim Halloran, president of TwitterOpen
– Jeffrey Klausner, MD, professor of medicine and public health in the
   UCLA Division of Infectious Diseases and Department of Epidemiology
– Kelsey Louie, CEO of GMHC
– Brad Sears, Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law


World Blood Donor Day at City Hall and the High Line
June 14, 2016
New York, NY

In Collaboration:
– FCB Health
– GMHC
– Leo Herrera
– The Carry Nation


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Blood Mirror Panel at Trinity Wall Street
November 2, 2015
New York, NY

Moderator:
– Ryan Campbell

Panelists:
– The Rev. Winnie Varghese, Community Outreach at Trinity Church, board
   member of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship
– The Rev. John Moody, served at Trinity Wall Street for forty years and
   donated blood for the creation of Blood Mirror
– Eric Sawyer, UNAIDS Civil Society Partnership Advisor, co-founder of
   ACT UP
– Kelsey Louie, CEO of GMHC and donated blood for the creation of
   Blood Mirror

 


 

Blood Illuminated at American University Museum
October 6, 2015
Washington, DC

Moderator:
– Mark Joseph Stern, writer, Slate.com

Panelists:
– Prof. I. Glenn Cohen, Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy,
   Biotechnology & Bioethics at Harvard Law School and one of the world’s
   leading experts on the intersection of bioethics and the law. 
– Scott Schoettes, HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal
– Kelsey Louie, CEO of GMHC and Blood Mirror donor
– Oliver Anene, LGBT Activist from Nigeria on political asylum in the US and
   Blood Mirror donor.
– Howard Grossman, M.D., HIV Specialist, Staff Physician, Cleveland Clinic, 
   Medical Supervisor and Blood Mirror donor.

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