Puppies Puppies (Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo) (b. 1989, Dallas, Texas) will transform the Museum’s Lobby Gallery into a mise-en-scène for the artist’s daily activities for the duration of her New Museum exhibition, “Nothing New.”
Puppies Puppies (Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo), found image: “nude woman behind opaque glass”, 2023. Original photo by Erik Von Weber, licensed via Getty Images
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Since 2010, Kuriki-Olivo has created conceptual and performance works under the moniker of Puppies Puppies. In keeping with what the artist terms “emotive conceptualism,” Puppies Puppies transforms ubiquitous, banal objects and signifiers—antibacterial gel dispensers, toilet bowl liquid, a Forever 21 bag, the color green—into personally and politically charged readymades. She extends this logic to a repertoire of quotidian actions—sleeping, peeing, taking a pill—that trouble the concept of artistic production. Many of Puppies Puppies’ exhibitions also include actionable components: a GoFundMe campaign to support a friend’s transition fund, free HIV testing and counseling, a working shower available for use by the public. Kuriki-Olivo thus asserts that life can be viewed as its own form of endurance practice, especially for those whose very survival is at stake, including trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people of color.
For the duration of her New Museum exhibition, “Nothing New,” Puppies Puppies will transform the Museum’s Lobby Gallery into a mise-en-scène for the artist’s daily activities. If Kuriki-Olivo’s past work centered around a refusal to be seen—through the use of proxies, avatars, and performances in absentia—“Nothing New” explores new registers of transparency and obfuscation. Inviting visitors to “experience her life as if through a screen,” Puppies Puppies will use a fogging glass mechanism to mediate access and create perceptual obstacles that evoke the trappings of visibility, representation, and cultural consumption. By allowing a spectacularized view into her daily existence, Kuriki-Olivo celebrates the nuanced layers of her own identity, eliding tokenization and reductive narratives of racial and trans identities.
“Puppies Puppies (Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo): Nothing New” is curated by Vivian Crockett, Curator.