ABOVE: Jordan Eagles’ Blood Mirror, Illuminations, 2015-2017. (Image courtesy the artist)
To commemorate World AIDS Day, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh covered one of its galleries with queer blood.
Jordan Eagles, a New York-based artist who has been exploring the aesthetics and ethics of blood as an artistic medium since the late 1990s, teamed with the museum on Dec. 1 to take over a section of its current exhibition, “Andy Warhol: Revelation,” with an immersive light installation called “Illuminations,” ruminating on the politics around queer blood, the prejudice facing LGBTQ people because of the stigma of HIV and the FDA’s discriminatory blood ban against men who have sex with men.
The abstract panels created by Eagles to use in the projections were created with blood donated by 59 gay, bisexual, and transgender men—most of whom use PrEP, according to The Art Newspaper.
Other works by Eagles were included, such as “Vinci (Illuminations),” a recreation of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” in blood, which provokes debate over whether $450 million+ price recently paid for the Renaissance masterwork might have been more wisely spent on medical research that could advance the progress toward a cure.
Talking about the installation, Eagles said, “With my work I want viewers to experience blood in a way that expresses our common humanity and our ability to save lives. I also want viewers to experience the energy of blood and to question more about these key policy issues and health implications at play.”
Chief curator José Diaz called Eagles’ installation “a dynamic and moving presentation.”