27 April–26 May 2007
This major exhibition followed upon internationally acclaimed Vancouver artist Brian Jungen’s celebrated survey exhibition museum tour which travelled to the Museum Villa Stuck (Munich), Witte de With (Rotterdam), the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (Montreal), the Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver), and the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York) as well as the artist’s recent solo exhibition at the Tate Modern (London). By critically reappraising and manipulating familiar consumer goods, Jungen produces startling and insightful works that link the social and environmental effects of our globalized trade in mass-produced objects with the status and power of diversion that such commodities selectively transmit.
In Jungen’s well-known series of past works entitled Prototypes for New Understanding, Nike trainers are exploited for their particular status as consumer icons that are promoted by advertising as carriers of distinction. The material features of these objects direct their transformation by the artist into individualized, mask-like sculptures that magnify processes of cultural corruption and assimilation as clearly as they signal dominant assumptions about specific cultural traditions. In the continued process of his ongoing research, Jungen applied similar processes of transposition into material related to contested sites of land use, specifically contrasting the aesthetic and recreational development of “landscape” with a more inherently functional approach to land activity.
For this installation, Jungen’s investigation of various systems of land distribution and competing forms of claim upon it have taken the artist to reappraise the popular cartography of the golf course. In relation to this subject, Jungen’s remarkable and uncanny manipulations of spatial reasoning resulted in several large-scale volumetric sculptures. Another work consisted of eighteen wool-covered templates, precisely cut to scale so as to represent the mapped shapes of each of the First Nations reserves in the metro Vancouver region. Through their forms that resemble raised artificial teeing surfaces, the objects hinge geographical representation with sports and gaming, and the historical weight of the trade blanket with the impact of the golfing green.
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