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Springfield Art Museum prepares solo exhibition for artist in unconventional medium

Jordan Eagles
Blood Mirror, an artwork announced early on as part of ONE BLOOD

JORDAN EAGLES: ONE BLOOD will open in late September

New York-based Jordan Eagles centers his work around blood — real blood. Blood on paper, blood projections and quite often blood cast in resin, using a preservation process he's developed over years of working with the material. Now, Springfield Art Museum is showing his work in Jordan Eagles: ONE BLOOD, opening in three weeks.

The exhibition — the product of "three or four years" of back and forth between Eagles and museum curator Sarah Buhr — is a collection of work utilizing the blood of queer men. For example, Blood Mirror, a centerpiece of the show, is a monolith with a reflective surface made from the blood of 59 gay, bisexual and transgender men, nine of whom were highlighted by Eagles in the first phase of the work's creation. It, like many pieces in the collection, is a protest of the Food and Drug Administration's restrictions on blood donation passed at the height of the AIDS crisis. While the ban was originally permanent for any man who's had sex with a man, the rules have softened over time.

"Now there isn't a ban per say, but they've changed it to a series of behavior-based questions. But those questions are still sort of targeted directly at gay men who have anal sex," says Buhr.

There are also pieces utilizing comic book pages and others featuring the use of AI - one projection shows Eagles asking ChatGPT its opinions on the FDA blood donation rules as blood slowly covers the screen.

While the exhibition is deeply political, that's not all it is. Buhr stresses that it's also just beautiful.

"The way that the light moves through the resin and blood as a sort of painterly media is also really fascinating," she said, "so there [are] just a lot of layers to this show."

ONE BLOOD will run from September 23 to February 18. More information on the Springfield Art Museum's website.