EXPECT US written in bloody hands (red paint) by protesters on a monument of Andrew Jackson • The red hand being a symbol of missing, raped and murdered indigenous women/femmes/two-spirit people • My trans women and two-spirit sisters hands were outlined and painted red on the walls of the gallery • red neon bent around the outlines of the hands painted onto the wall • glowing just like their spirits • My sisters Lexii Foxx, Cielo Oscuro and Alethia Rael’s hands will be displayed at the height of their mouths throughout the space • Alethia Rael has done many performances with the red mono print of her hand upon her face as an act of resilence and awareness and I dedicate this work to her • proceeds from the sale of these works will support my indigenous trans women & two-spirit sisters • My fathers blood is Indigenous (Guainía)(Taíno)(Arawak descendent), African, Latinx and stems from the Caribbean • Irka Mateo/Akutu Irka (Abuela Irka) conjures ancestral spirits and is the shamanic healer I went to multiple times which resulted in this exhibition • This exhibition is also in honor of her as well as my chosen trans sisters • I have biological family members who are tribal chiefs but I do not know them as Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo • a trans woman and two-spirit person • as trans people we don’t always get to inherit or experience our ancestral wisdom through biological family because my father is dead (although he taught me a lot before he passed) and I’m afraid to come out as trans to my extended biological family • who could teach me more about my ancestry • so I choose healing from abuela Irka • it’s rare to meet a shaman who is a woman • I admire her deeply and hope to make a documentary on her one day • She has taught me so much • Guanaro is Taíno for a dove that exists all over the Caribbean • ”Guanaro must be a derivative from Guanara which means a far away, hidden place” • an Asian dove acts as a stand in for the Guanaro dove which will exist in the gallery • Irka conjured ancestral spirits to allow me to understand to call upon the dove in times of need and leave food (piles of crushed corn • in the style of Félix González-Torres’ candy pile works • an artist also stemming from the Caribbean) for the dove to eat • nourishment • the dove a common symbol of • peace • which I always wish for deeply • in all aspects of life and in the world as a whole • she made me aware of this during a shamanic power animal retrieval ceremony • I am forever grateful for this experience and leave crushed corn and seeds all over my room and on the edge of my window sill • Irka taught me more about Atabey the goddess of water • An image of her taken from a petroglyph in the Caribbean has been etched into rocks that will stand throughout the gallery • hoping these sculptures will survive • whatever the fate of this planet may be • just as the original sacred petroglyphs survived • against the odds • in the space you’ll hear water pouring in El Yunque and the chirping of the coquí as the sounds of the jungle envelope the space • undulating green light showers all who enter • long sticks of sugar cane will rest in a portion of the gallery • When the Spaniards arrived and realized gold was not available to harvest from the people of the Caribbean the next best option was sugar cane • enslaved indigenous and African peoples planted and harvested sugar cane for the colonizers • in this space I use it as a symbol of genocide and enslavement of my fathers ancestors but also as an offering to the spirits, goddesses and gods of Taíno shamanic spiritualism • organic offerings will be scattered across the space • rocks, sand and grass will fill the space surrounding the contemporary petroglyphs made in honor of the Goddess Atabey • green metallic beaded curtains (also inspired by Félix will adorn the doorways leading to the back of the gallery) • there will not be an official opening for the exhibition but instead a closing performance close to the closing day of the show • I will recreate a performance by another Caribbean artist Ana Mendieta which was titled Untitled (Rape Scene) from 1973 which she performed at University of Iowa as a student there • My first experience of penetrative sex was rape • This performance will take place in another room of the same building the gallery resides in • Ana Mendieta was murdered by Carl Andre who is celebrated and exhibited by many major art institutions world wide and was never convicted of her murder • this exhibition is a love letter to my trans women and two-spirit sisters, to Irka my forever mentor, to my father and his ancestors, to Félix González-Torres and Ana Mendieta, to Atabey, to healing, peace and the spirit of the dove I carry within • The diaspora, genocide, rape and enslavement of my fathers ancestors lives within my DNA and I honor my ancestors with this exhibition • in solidarity with all the indigenous peoples of the Americas / Turtle Island and all the water protectors putting their life on the line I end this text as I started it • EXPECT US • Hahom • giving thanks from a language thought to be extinct •
Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo*
On the occasion of Puppies Puppies’ current show in Los Angeles, the artist will present an evening performance this weekend.
See links below for details.
Saturday, May 14, from 5 pm to 8 pm
Hannah Hoffman Gallery
2504 West 7th Street, Suite C, Los Angeles
Through May 21
Hannah Hoffman Gallery
*Puppies Puppies’ wall text © Puppies Puppies (Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo), courtesy of the artist and Hannah Hoffman Gallery.
Puppies Puppies (Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo), Hannah Hoffman Gallery, April 16–May 21, 2022, from top: Puppies Puppies (Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo), performance, May 14, 2022, photograph by Dorothée Perret; Untitled (Food For The Animal That Protects My Spirit) (Dove) (Peace), 2022, cracked corn; installation view, taxidermy dove; installation view, with (foreground) Offering In Dedication To The Ancestors Enslaved For The Production Of Sugar Cane (Cadere), 2022, pineapple, yucca, fruits, corn, wheat flour; The Red Hand Over The Mouth (Right And Left Hand)• An Indigenous Sign Of Protest • This Piece Is Dedicated To My Chosen Indigenous Sister Alethia Rael • My Hands Were Outlined For This Work • Installed At The Height Of My Mouth***, 2022, neon hands (pair); Atabey (Water) Note: Save Caguana Ceremonial Ball Courts Site, 2022, etched stone; Puppies Puppies (Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo), performance, May 14, 2022, photograph by Dorothée Perret. Images © Puppies Puppies (Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo), courtesy of the artist and Hannah Hoffman Gallery.