Galerie Barbara Weiss presents “TRANNY”, an exhibition of new works by Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo).
“TRANNY” comprises 19 text works applied directly to the wall in vinyl. Among them are slang and derogatory terms for trans women, which are annotated with explanatory notes from the artist. There are messages of empowerment installed alongside overheard moments of transphobia. A line of inquiry runs throughout the exhibition, consisting of rhetorical questions, pointed questions to potential sexual partners, and questions that appear directed to the audience – asking them to examine their relationship towards the trans community as well as their understanding of themselves. Kuriki Olivo has produced these texts in oversized, impact font and installed them from floor to ceiling. In doing so, she has amplified a discourse to an unignorable scale.
Puppies Puppies (Jade Kuriki Olivo) is a conceptual, performance and installation artist. Her work often draws on the emotional resonance of found objects and shared experiences to explore existential themes like love, intimacy, mortality, power relations and states of being. Until 2018 her works were created anonymously – the name Puppies Puppies revealed neither gender or origin, nor whether a group or just a single individual was behind the pseudonym. Stepping away from this unattributed artistic persona became central to of a series of works beginning in 2018 that coincided with the transitioning of the artist to Jade Kuriki Olivo. In the years since, her activist practice and commitment to the rights of BIPOC transgender, gender non conforming, two spirit + minorities has increasingly become a focal point in her artistic work. In recent years, Kuriki Olivo has used exhibition invitations to draw attention to issues surrounding this community, as well as inviting artists to exhibit either alongside her or in her place.