Brian Jungen & Duane Linklater
Modest Livelihood

7 June – 20 July 2013

Brian Jungen & Duane Linklater - Modest Livelihood

Catri­ona Jef­fries is pleased to announce Bri­an Jun­gen and Duane Linklater’s exhi­bi­tion, Mod­est Liveli­hood. Their film work, Mod­est Liveli­hood, will be shown along­side a series of four 16mm film loops, tak­en from over 50 hours of footage shot dur­ing two hunt­ing trips in Dane-zaa Ter­ri­to­ry in North­ern British Colum­bia in 2011.

Using only avail­able light and pur­pose­ful­ly shot on 16mm – a medi­um that can­not simul­ta­ne­ous­ly return images in the moment they have been cap­tured – the cam­era takes an obser­va­tion­al posi­tion fol­low­ing the artists and Jungen’s uncle Jack Asko­ty, a Doig Riv­er First Nations elder, as they move through the land­scape timed by the ris­ing and set­ting days. The min­i­mal fram­ing and edit­ing lends a slight­ly impar­tial air to what the cam­era choos­es to see, be it the myr­i­ad shades of autumn in the envelop­ing land­scape, the banal­i­ties of their camp, or the sub­se­quent end of the film with the prepa­ra­tion and skin­ning of the moose they have hunt­ed.

Jun­gen and Linklater’s film is silent, yet the images clear­ly rep­re­sent the hunt as any­thing but. There is a form of exclu­sion appar­ent as the silence of the images main­tains the view­er at a firm dis­tance while at the same time evok­ing the slow, dis­creet nature of hunt­ing. One can eas­i­ly imag­ine the sound of the wind sway­ing through trees and the ring­ing out of a gun blast in ear­ly dawn as the film strains to cap­ture the moose in near­ly indis­cernible dawn light. We see the artists in con­ver­sa­tion, the nature of which Jun­gen and Lin­klater have not­ed cov­ered con­tem­po­rary art and music, top­ics usu­al­ly not dis­cussed when hunt­ing with their fam­i­lies. It is in this very par­tic­u­lar con­text that the artists cite as ref­er­ences such diverse films as Tarkovsky’s Stalk­er (1979) and Cree Hunters of the Mis­tassi­ni made by the Nation­al Film Board of Cana­da in 1974.

For Jun­gen, of Dane-zaa and Euro­pean ances­try and Lin­klater who is Omaskêko Cree, the rit­u­al of the hunt is a cus­tom­ary prac­tice of ances­tral tra­di­tion and cen­tral to their First Nations iden­ti­ty. The hunt is also deeply inex­tri­ca­ble from cen­tu­ry old treaty rights of First Nations, which the title of the film ref­er­ences. The Mar­shall deci­sion of 1999 saw the Supreme Court of Cana­da uphold the native fish­ing rights of Don­ald Mar­shall who had been charged with fish­ing out of sea­son. His Mi’kmaq rights under treaties from the 1760s excused him from reg­u­la­tions, how­ev­er the con­tro­ver­sial deci­sion includ­ed con­di­tions that this activ­i­ty did not exceed “mod­er­ate liveli­hood,” which “includes such basics as ‘food, cloth­ing and hous­ing, sup­ple­ment­ed by a few ameni­ties,’ but not the accu­mu­la­tion of wealth.” In the mak­ing of this film, Jun­gen and Lin­klater exer­cise their rights under Treaty 8, which cov­ers a large part of North­ern Alber­ta, North­east­ern British Colum­bia and parts of Saskatchewan and the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries. The sig­nif­i­cance of this Treaty has been brought into sharp focus in cur­rent debates around resource extrac­tion, and its legal­i­ty under Treaty 8 which was signed over a cen­tu­ry ago.

Bri­an Jun­gen (b. 1970, Fort St. John, British Colum­bia) lives and works in Van­cou­ver. His solo exhi­bi­tion cur­rent­ly installed at the Han­nover Kun­stvere­in will trav­el to the Bon­ner Kun­stvere­in in Novem­ber of this year. Mod­est Liveli­hood will be shown at the Art Gallery of Ontario this fall, fol­low­ing its debut at the Wal­ter Philips Gallery, Banff and sub­se­quent exhi­bi­tion at the Reva and David Logan Cen­ter Gallery, Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go in 2012. Recent solo exhi­bi­tions include Art Gallery of Alber­ta, Edmon­ton (2011); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toron­to (2011); Strange Com­fort, Nation­al Muse­um of the Amer­i­can Indi­an, Wash­ing­ton, DC (2009); Le Frac des Pays de la Loire, Car­que­fou, France (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). Recent group exhi­bi­tions include dOC­U­MEN­TA (13), Kas­sel (2012);  Man­u­fac­ture, Cen­trePasquArt Biel, Switzer­land (2012); Shang­hai Bien­ni­al (2012); Hard Tar­gets, Wexn­er Cen­ter for the Arts, Colum­bus, Ohio (2009), 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). A mono­graph on his work was pub­lished in 2005 by the Van­cou­ver Art Gallery.

Duane Lin­klater (b. 1976, Moose Fac­to­ry, Ontario) lives and works in North Bay, Ontario. Mod­est Liveli­hood will be shown at the Art Gallery of Ontario this fall, fol­low­ing its debut at the Wal­ter Philips Gallery, Banff and sub­se­quent exhi­bi­tion at the Reva and David Logan Cen­ter Gallery, Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go in 2012. Recent solo exhi­bi­tions include Some­thing about Encounter, Thun­der Bay Art Gallery, Ontario (2013); Grain(s), (col­lab­o­ra­tion with Tanya Lukin Lin­klater), Images Fes­ti­val / Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary Cana­di­an Art, Toron­to (2013); Sec­ondary Expla­na­tion, The New Gallery, Cal­gary (2013); Rasp­ber­ry Car­go, Fam­i­ly Busi­ness Gallery, New York (2013); Beothuck Build­ing, OR Gallery, Van­cou­ver (2012). He has exhib­it­ed and screened his work nation­al­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly in group exhi­bi­tions at the Van­cou­ver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Alber­ta, Anthol­o­gy Film Archives, New York and the Pow­er Plant in Toron­to.

The film Mod­est Liveli­hood starts on the hour between 11 AM and 4PM Tues­day to Sat­ur­day. The dura­tion is 50 min­utes.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion or press enquires please con­tact Catri­ona Jef­fries or Anne Low at +1 604 736 1554.