Corcoran’s Unveiled blog speaks with Mary Coble as she prepares for a 4-day performance of ‘Deferral,’ a work responding to the FDA’s policy of refusing blood donations from men who have had sex with men since 1977. At the gallery, now through Saturday, Coble and several gay men will encode curtains of white medical panels (suggestive of an operating theater) with text and images from donor campaigns and literature. Coble herself is using her own blood–40 vials drawn in the museum–while her collaborators use red thread to represent their own “illegal” blood.
The performance is a return of sorts for the artist: Coble taught at the Corcoran for eight years and was an integral if not seminal figure in a DC performance art revival. Corcoran alumni Armando López Bircan and Jason Edward Tucker of the queer art collective Boys Be Good are among the performers while Bircan hosted Coble for a dinner lecture with his Animals and Fire performance platform. “Deferral” is part of the Corcoran’s NOW Performance series that has included live work by emerging and mid-career artists iona ROZEAL brown, Andrea Fraser and Shodekeh. Enjoy.