Exhibits: “Strange Comfort” by Brian Jungen, National Museum of the American Indian (October 16, 2009 – August 08, 2010)

National Museum of the American Indian – Brian Jungen (b. 1970, Dunne-za First Nations/Swiss-Canadian) uses mass-produced goods to make sculptures that are simultaneously fake and authentic, playful and political, common and extraordinary.

In Strange Comfort, a major exhibition organized by the National Museum of the American Indian, Jungen reassembles plastic chairs—hacked apart but still undeniably chairs—into a whale skeleton. Suitcases take the form of a possum, a crocodile, a shark. Expensive sneakers become Northwest Coast-style masks. Golf bags become totems. Jungen charges ordinary, useful objects with layers of meaning, exploring and transgressing the boundaries of what they had been and what they’ve become, riffing on Indian imagery, pop culture, consumerism, and obsession in the process.

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