Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Jungen factor

Brian Jungen’s work deals with issues around the commercialism in First Nations art. When I see Jungen’s work, I think of issues around pan-Indianism. Pan-Indianism is when natives are looked at as one culture rather than a large group of many cultures. Some native artists use pan-indianism to their advantage, for example a Cree or Métis carving in a Northwest coast Native art style. So my question is; is Jungen’s work using pan-Indianism to his advantage or is he exposing the western art world’s attitude of pan-Indianism when dealing with Native artists. Either way, I like the work; you can feel the spirit or soul (pun intended) of the masks, they have a presence. I have friends who are non-northwest coast carvers who do great work, so I guess if you can take the criticism you can continue to do the work. (2 carvings by Ken Humpherville)

1 comment:

  1. Amazing post...I guess pan-indianism has its roots in unified European cultural oppression. Perhaps that can define a group more than any other single force. Maybe by using the products of reified capitalist consumer culture he re empowers nativism buy openly acknowledging the vacuum of spirit of his oppressors. Maybe..or maybe thats a bit bleak...perhaps making your culture out of your other culture is fun too!