Brian Jungen

22 January – 27 February, 2016

Catri­ona Jef­fries is pleased to announce a solo exhi­bi­tion by Bri­an Jun­gen fea­tur­ing his most recent sculp­tur­al work. Using new Air Jor­dan train­ers, which recent­ly cel­e­brat­ed its 30th anniver­sary in 2015, Jun­gen returns to a mate­r­i­al he is both famil­iar with and con­tin­ues to exper­i­ment through. Adopt­ing an alter­na­tive approach to dis­sect­ing and rear­rang­ing the mate­r­i­al that was devel­oped in ear­li­er work, these new sculp­tures are pro­duced using the same tools that were uti­lized to man­u­fac­ture them: band saw, punch­es, riv­ets, drills and an indus­tri­al sewing machine, per­son­al­iz­ing their indus­tri­al pro­duc­tion.

As the shoes them­selves have changed in terms of design and colour schemes over time, so has the artist’s strat­e­gy of using them as rep­re­sen­ta­tion­al objects of colo­nial and First Nation art his­to­ries merg­ing with con­tem­po­rary col­lec­tive imagery. These new works become more abstract and col­or­ful, con­tin­u­ing to allow the mate­r­i­al of the shoe itself to guide his deci­sion about their form and assem­bly while push­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties of mate­r­i­al depic­tion. Uti­liz­ing as much of the shoe as pos­si­ble in their pro­duc­tion, these objects min­i­mize extra­ne­ous mate­r­i­al and arma­tures and act as free stand­ing sculp­tures.

The result­ing works are less a direct rep­re­sen­ta­tion and con­tain more a sug­ges­tion of ani­mal and human faces, tak­ing advan­tage of how we innate­ly search for and rec­og­nize these par­tic­u­lar pat­terns. This phe­nom­e­na, oscil­lat­ing between rep­re­sen­ta­tion and abstrac­tion, has his­tor­i­cal­ly been used in the visu­al rep­re­sen­ta­tion of diverse mytholo­gies. It could be argued that myths are always born from trau­ma and inter­twine with the uncan­ny and super­nat­ur­al, itself by def­i­n­i­tion unknown and inde­scrib­able. Con­sid­er­ing our con­tin­ued abstrac­tion of faces and bod­ies through masks and dress, these works can be con­sid­ered in direct rela­tion to the diverse but uni­fied aes­thet­ics of con­tem­po­rary glob­al eco­nom­ic, polit­i­cal and cul­tur­al con­flict.

Bri­an Jun­gen (b. 1970, Fort St. John, British Colum­bia) lives and works in the North Okana­gan, B.C. Solo exhi­bi­tions include Han­nover Kun­stvere­in (2013); Bon­ner Kun­stvere­in (2013); Art Gallery of Alber­ta, Edmon­ton (2011); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toron­to (2011); Strange Com­fort, Nation­al Muse­um of the Amer­i­can Indi­an, Wash­ing­ton, DC (2009); Muse­um Vil­la Stuck, Munich (2007); Tate Mod­ern, Lon­don (2006); Van­cou­ver Art Gallery (2006); Musée d’art con­tem­po­rain de Mon­tréal (2006); Witte de With, Rot­ter­dam (2006); New Muse­um, New York ( 2005). Group exhi­bi­tions include Residue: Per­sis­tence of the Real, Van­cou­ver Art Gallery (2015); Edin­burgh Fes­ti­val, Scot­land (2014); Sakahàn, Nation­al Gallery of Cana­da, Ottawa (2013); dOC­U­MEN­TA (13), Kas­sel (2012); Shang­hai Bien­ni­al (2012); Hard Tar­gets, Wexn­er Cen­ter for the Arts, Colum­bus, Ohio (2010); Moby Dick, CCA Wat­tis Insti­tute for Con­tem­po­rary Arts, San Fran­cis­co (2009); Syd­ney Bien­nale (2008); Neo­HooDoo: Art For A For­got­ten Faith, The Menil Col­lec­tion, Hous­ton, Texas; Mia­mi Art Muse­um; P.S.1 Con­tem­po­rary Art Cen­ter, New York; Los Ange­les Coun­ty Muse­um of Art (2008); The Mar­t­ian Muse­um of Ter­res­tri­al Art, Bar­bi­can Art Gallery, Lon­don (2008); The His­to­ry of a Decade That Has Not Yet Been Named, Lyon Bien­ni­al , Lyon, (2007).