August 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm EDT | by Will Owen
Drawing blood
Mary Coble, blood, art, gay news, Washington Blade

Performance artist Mary Coble draws blood for ‘Deferral.’ (Photo courtesy Corcoran)

Internationally acclaimed queer performance artist Mary Coble will be doing a four-day show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (500 17th St., N.W.) starting Wednesday and running through Aug. 10.

The performance, titled “Deferral,” addresses the Food and Drug Administration’s policy of refusing blood donations from “men who have sex with men.” It is also an installation, constructed in the Corcoran’s Atrium, with an anatomical theater formed by white hospital curtains.

“I will have a pint of blood drawn, and will then use that blood to make marks on the curtains to reference some of the campaign and political slogans surrounding the issue,” Coble says. “The men who are participating with me are gay men, so I am in the position of privilege because I can have blood drawn. They will be stitching using red thread to sew on the curtains to act as a stand-in for their blood, because their blood would not be considered by the FDA.”

The Corcoran’s hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Wednesday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $10. For more information, visit

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