Organized by: Niki Johnson
EVENT DATE Jun 27, 2015
Art and Activism are two words one hears often in the same sentence. Alone each does remarkable things, but together art and activism have the power to change perceptions, demystify taboos, and expand world understanding. Preservatif is looking to do just that.
My name is Niki Johnson. I am an artist, organizer and educator currently living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In the Spring of 2013, I received a donation of 1.2 million condoms from a distribution company looking to clear out a defunct client’s storage space. The elaborately packaged boutique condoms were 4 weeks from expiration and though I tried to reach out, no sexual advocacy group could accept, process, and distribute the donation in such a short time-frame. The distribution company was aware of my artwork, and contacted me in hopes of seeing the materials put to use. The shipment, totaling 21,000 pounds, was delivered to a donated warehouse space I was able to secure in Milwaukee in October, 2013.
Together, with my co-curator Kim Hindman, a group of 22 national artists have been selected to transform this shipment into Preservatif- an exhibition that focuses on the condom as a material to be re-imagined and reinterpreted. The artists chosen for this exhibition come from a variety of backgrounds and material practices including: sculpture, jewelry, photography, performance art, ceramics, and interdisciplinary practices. First opening on World AIDS Day, December 1st, 2014, in Milwaukee, we are now heading to Memphis, TN. Opening on June 27th, National HIV Testing Day, Preservatif will continue to raise awareness, eyebrows, and horizons in response to this incredible material.
Through this fundraiser, we are hoping to raise $15,000 to make 'Preservatif' a reality. The money will help pay for shipping costs, space rental, insurance, advertising, and an exhibition brochure. We plan to exhibit this show in multiple venues across the country. Any additional funds will benefit supporting partners like Choices and Planned Parenthood as well as help fund the goal of seeing the exhibition travel and engage a broad population in conversations pertaining to sexuality, materiality and design.