Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sunday Inspiration: Brian Jungen

This weeks oration comes from the Book of Brian...always look on the bright side of not that Brian! Brian Jungen is a native aboriginal artist that combines the Western 'religion' of Consumerism and Native symbols. In this case Brian uses Nike shoes and transforms them into the Masks of the Dane-Zaa Nation for whom he belongs to. The issues associated to Air Jordan shoes are one of fame, money and consumerism. It also addresses issues of Third world labour and exploitation as he mixes it with religious symbols of Native culture. This appropriation of the two cultures creates a hybrid of shapeshifters that take form in the guise of global homogeny and cultural identity. One of the things that comes to mind about the Nike shoe masks is about the 'pelting' feature in 3DStudio Max. It allows for easy skinning of the object for surface mapping. Only Brian's work literally 'pelts' the surface of theNike shoe onto a Native mask giving it a new meaning and power. The connotations of this is both cultural and technical and gives underlying meaning to the overt material used. Something to think about instead of trying to re-create hyperrealism. I leave you with one of my favorite pieces ,Cetology, where he uses white plastic chairs to create a museum-like installation of a skeleton of a whale.

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