ARTIST'S TALK: BRIAN JUNGEN

Ladies and gentlemen my name is Gary Ochre I’ve just spoke our beaver language from northern northeastern British Columbia. I talked about the idea that we come from dreaming traditions we are dreamers and I’m here to sing one of our traditional songs by our profits not China who Brian is one of the descendants of these great dreamers as you can see and hear about his work he comes from that so I want to honor him with these this song Hey Brian it’s for you Good evening first of all I want to welcome everybody and thank Gary very very much for bringing us all together I’m Stephan Jost Michael and Sonya Koerner director and CEO. We like to start by acknowledging we’re on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe as well as the Huron-Wendat and Seneca Nations through time today is the opening day for an extraordinary exhibition from Brian and Kitty and it’s actually the first major exhibition that we’re opening since the introduction of our annual pass and free under 25. We kind of are very committed to showing great art and I think this is part of it learning having dialogues and conversation but also making the AGO more accessible in the last three weeks We’ve had 21,000 people join the AGO which is makes me incredibly proud to be in Toronto. Word of mouth is the best thing, anybody under 25 can get an annual pass to the AGO if you’re over 25 it’s 35 bucks which I think is incredibly reasonable for a year to see culture and arts just $35 a year for art. So I just want to say thank you for that until people because it makes a difference These exhibitions that we do are kind of all in exhibitions they’re unbelievably complex we’ve had many many people who’ve leant works of art and they’re not cheap so my job is to thank people. I first want to thank Panasonic, when you see the exhibition there’s great equipment it’s because Panasonic made it work for us the volunteers of the AGO we have hundreds of them they’ve chipped in significantl. The Schulich Foundation

and Jay and Laura wrapped we’ve also had help from the Hal Jackman foundation Nancy McCain and Bill Morneau Milner Owen might ring a bell they put in money and Adeer and Sherin Mohamad the sovereign Family Foundation, Donald R Sobe be the dorothy’s Troelsen Foundation and Susan and Greg Guillaume they are lots of people pulling together to make sure that when we do an exhibition it’s done at the right level . We have partners with the governor of Canada the Canadian Council for the Arts and then I want to particularly thank our staff of the AGO it’s we’re 640 people on staff there’s lots of people who make this work Kitty is leading the creative vision but there’s people in marketing there’s people in finance etc so I just want to thank everybody on the staff of the AGO Two works maybe to think about in the show there’s a beautiful little painting about so big it’s a cedar shake and Brian’s gone through and painted each line of the maybe a hundred years of lines a different colour I don’t think of Brian as a painter but when I saw that there’s something breathtakingly beautiful, in many ways I had the same emotional reaction to it as I did to Thelmans who’s on the fifth floor also something to look at so that’s one piece and then the piece I look forward to discovering is there’s a five channel film video that takes an hour I haven’t seen it yet but I know that this is the kind of exhibition that you’ll see it tonight there’ll be three five thousand people tonight here fantastic but come back and spend an hour with that film because I have a feeling I’m gonna learn a lot by by seeing it so two things to see in the gallery make sure you spend time there And I’m just gonna say Kitty Scott is our curator of Contemporary Art she’s got an extraordinary long relationship with Brian Yungen and most great relationships are over time and sophisticated and tonight they’re going to have a conversation thank you for coming yeah thank you it’s really great to see everybody here tonight it’s almost every chairs full so thank you for taking the time out of your lives to come this evening and to hear this conversation I also want to echo Stefan’s thank-yous there are many people in the room who helped with his show and many people are not in the room and a big massive thank you to all of you if I haven’t picked you out by name in the past few days I just want to say thank you again it’s a it helps us get where we’re going so thank you so hello it’s great to see you again I guess I’m sitting here with an artist who for over 20 years has shown himself to be consistently innovative and his approach to materials be they mass-produced goods or indigenous materials indigenous technologies and I’m really pleased to have been working with him for the past little while we’re just gonna open up with our first first point of discussion so Brian Young and the title of the exhibition Friendship Centre how did we land here I think the architecture of the space and the proportion and it made me think of a few things that gymnasiums are center point of meeting for sports and culture and a lot of reserves and First Nations communities across the country as well as friendship centres in and around Canada and at one point about 20 years ago I had a studio behind this building that Vancouver Friendship Centre and I spent quite a bit of time there having lunch and meeting folks and from all over BC and they have they have a gymnasium there and they would do like dance practices and also they play basketball we were we were talking over the past few days and you talked about sport and ceremony and I’m just curious to hear you talk a little bit more about that you’re interested yeah I think like Gary who you all just met my cousin Gary ocher when he was chief of the ARB and he was very instrumental in building a new band hall a community center and in

that new building I said quite a large gymnasium and I remember going to the opening of the of the center and there was big friendship dance with everybody involved including members of the non-native community and RCMP and whatnot and everybody danced in a big circle around in the gymnasium and I thought it was like a really powerful moment and so with that the idea of like mixing a culture in the sight of like athletic field essentially was something that kind of infused my later artwork I’ve been talking to media for the last three days so I started to get all my stops you’ve been so generous and just thank you for that I’m curious with the gallery space you know when when you look at it and the way you’ve you’ve I guess transformed the particular space of physics calorie into the gymnasium do you think about that particular space and the building as a kind of indigenous space given what you’ve just told me even when I was doing those drawings of is thinking about that and I mean the drawing of the gym floor yeah so the floor that’s in the in the gallery down there is based on a series of drawings that I did and so this one is for the one we chose and I was thinking of positioning my art work within the basketball court almost like a game or players in a court and how I wanted to kind of claim that space as First Nations space or like a friendship center i when I first moved to Vancouver I was quite young I was 18 and I didn’t really didn’t know how to I felt very intimidated being an art gallery I didn’t really know how to behave or even look at art even though I was in art school and I kind of wanted to turn that space into somehow to fulfill the function of what a Friendship Centre does it would be welcoming and kind of make people feel like it’s relaxing in the way sports I think it also I mean links up with the vert court that you did you know the basketball court that you did on the sewing-machine tables some years ago so there’s a direct connection to that and I think there’s also within your work a large group of works that are installations they take up large or they’re sometimes in public space but they can take up large amounts of space and really use space so in a sense you know I also think about the way you work and the way you’ve been working with sneakers or Air Jordans and kind of envisioning new potentials for them that in a sense you’ve taken the psychs gallery at the AG oh and given it a new a new life and the way one side of it anyways one side so think about it a little bit like the way you treat sneakers anyway one of the earliest I works in the show is a recalled vernacular that you worked on from 1998 to 2001 and I think it’s it’s nice to see this for a number of reasons I think most people who know Brian’s work when they think of him kind of immediately think of him as a sculptor that may be the first place you go to an artist an artist who works with three-dimensional objects and he’s also he also makes really great drawings and he drew and he’s very young and you also drew with Jeffrey farmer quite a bit you kind of had a collaboration there I’m just curious to hear you talk a little bit about this particular drawing and what’s going on in it and how does it sort of in a sense kind of frame your approach dart or do you think it it has that within itself well this particular was just something that I had on the work table for years and I would kind of like go back to it now and then and I think it was emblematic of some ideas that have popped up again and again in my artwork like the geodesic dome for instance kind of interested utopian yeah yeah utopian architecture but I was mainly drawing figurative stuff back then you can kind of see that in the drawing and I was kind of exploring like identity politics strategies in the 90s and a lot of the drawings I was doing then was kind of meant to be out in public spaces so I we pasted them around the downtown

East Side and East Vancouver and that was my early attempts of getting my artwork out into public I saw these these big drawings um came about when I started to be more self conscious about where these might wind up see these are a much better quality paper and they’re not really meant to they weren’t really meant to be displayed in the same type of way so maybe became a conscious thought to turn toward examinee indoors or like getting away from doing this kind of like street art sensibility writing notes and pencil all the time they’re a time-series very hard to read on this particular image but do you want to talk about that interest in language I haven’t actually read that in a long time but I think if you read my first kind of the council grants you’d probably find a lot of them the dialogue in those picture as well and I think animals let’s say our beings with eyes maybe my childhood was spent on our grandparents cattle ranch and my family’s always been into hunting and fishing northern BC and I think that really influenced my my life and you see it seen again and again in my work and I’ve worked making environments for pets and whatnot in different projects and so yeah there’s a reoccurring theme as well it’s a beautiful drawing um the first time I saw it I decided B I was working at the National Gallery of Canada and I thought it would make a really great addition to the collection so it was it came into the collection of the National again already something I’m very proud of but also it was really great to board again and have it at the beginning of the exhibition so people can see one of the places you started out in a sense it’s really nice to have here so something that you became very well known for and you’re kind of early early stages as a prototype for new understanding series a series of twenty three sculptures which you made 23 being of a number of Michael Jordan Jordans Jersey as he was playing basketball a sport that Torontonians I don’t think know too much about is alright but 23 so Brian took apart Air Jordan sneakers early in his career and has sewed them back together again to make a series of sculptures resembling Northwest Coast Haida masks like as I said we have 20 here that was we tried to borrow all 23 we wanted to have all of them but we were managed to get 20 um when Brian started this this project he began with the intention of making photographs and I’m wondering if you could just tell us about the beginning stages of this and how something when this project went from being photographic disco yeah sure I mean I kind of left working to dimension drawing I did a series the kind of a wall drawing project and that was kind of the last thing that I did like that and then I I got a a residency at the BAM Center and I was kind of trying to conflate a bunch of different ideas that I had including working with these Air Jordan trainers which to me really highly resembled a lot of coastal motifs in the nations of the on the coast and how these sneakers had become so heavily codified and fetishized very much like the artwork that I was referencing so I was therefore I had never really made sculpture so I was very very careful about how I took them apart and then I like put them together very kind of simply and took photos of them and I I think that’s because I was from Vancouver that I had this impulse to photograph everything and that wouldn’t go like valid validated as fine art but I’m not a very good photographer so and then I had like six more weeks to fill up at the BAM Center so I decided to go back and like like stitch them together properly and then I realized they had a much more powerful presence if they looked like they’d been mass-produced that they’ve actually been made factory made and that really changed everything I really felt a real charge from working with objects in

sculpture and I stopped working with drawing and photography which didn’t last that long talk a little bit about your trip to Museum of Natural History and the Nike shop yes that same summer I was in New York and I was visiting the Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side and I was kind of amazed that they still had in their collection artwork from like the high donation and stuff that was still in them in the realm of science and ethnography and anthropology and and then I was like wandering further that’s downtown and I came across the Nike town store and they had displaying they were displaying their early prototype trainers in these museum cases and I just just kind of coalesced and that’s kind of where the idea I think of the Morris sculptures especially these early ones because they’re not really wearable the later works are now more aware of all you’ve seen jasmine maybe tonight she’s wearing one of the new pieces I made which is more like a like a war bonnet than a mask but I’m consciously more making them to actually fit the human body so cetology assist second well Brian made three whales or sculptures resembling whales out of white plastic patio chairs and he’s able to sort of somehow find maybe a whale bone and one of those chairs and then and finding a whale bone assemble a whole a whole sculptured you wouldn’t talk a little bit about the moment you decided to work with this material how it came about how you decided you wanted to make a whale yeah I think I was interested in those I kept seeing those chairs just like everybody else like when Burrell can people just check him out because he can’t really fix them so then I started I did a lot of my research by just photographing things so I’d photographed pallets and what broken pallets and broken chairs and stuff and then I realized that there was something really kind of liberating about them when they break that they’re no longer used as an obstacle we use object that I could use them to make something out of and so I tried different things actually a YYZ here I made up this geodesic dome and I think 2000 that was really the first time I tried using them for something you might see video footage of that in the archive actually downstairs but I wasn’t really happy with that and so I’ve returned to the studio and decided to try making something very organic looking out of them but I was also fascinated and in architecture that was made for animals in captivity so I was going to Stanley Park and photographing the old bear pit and hanging out at the aquarium and that’s kind of where I stumbled upon the history of the whaling industry on the west coast and then I read that these a lot of cities used to be lit at night by burning whale oil and that was later replaced by petroleum and that’s kind of where that the idea of using these chairs which are made from petroleum as well into this very organic holding up is it depends where it was made I think some parts are more yellow than others but yeah I mean it’s it’s in a controlled environment these are owned by museum so it’s like I think they’re holding up pretty good so when you come to the gallery right now you you won’t see furniture sculpture but it will be up in early July for three weeks and Walker Court it’s a really phenomenal work and the reason we can’t show it and the Zack’s Pavilion is because you need about 27 a 27 foot high ceiling and so we really wanted to include it and we thought we were fine with it but then we realized the poles go really high and it’s not a work it’s actually not a work we could show really anywhere in the gallery except to walk a coin through the

ceiling or actually take out some of the floor so it will be an Walker Court and it’s actually the first time their work has been shown since it was first shown at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2006 when you had your survey show there can you tell us a little bit about how you made this work yeah sure I used to kind of do this way of working where I would show up at a museum or a gallery space and make make the work there make the exhibition on-site that’s kind of what I did with the way all skeletons and a couple other pieces and this is maybe the last time I did that and I finished show at the Vancouver Art Gallery I decided to make something that was a bit more emblematic of my my indigenous background I’m done ISA from DNA territory and there’s a lot you see a lot of folks would that have teepees up there and I did I’d never made one before so I wanted to make one and so I was doing research about a lot of the different styles and how long on the plains they were made from Buffalo skins and I liked the idea that that you could make structure habitation with material around your immediate environment and at the time I was noticing that a lot of my family were buying these giant like home theater style sofas and I thought that they would make a great stand-in for a buffalo so I bought like a dozen of them and I skinned them in the gallery and we gonna be like took apart all the wood framing and we made these long poles and there you go it weighs about 500 pounds like it was amazing that we actually got it lift it up so it’d be great to see it again I haven’t seen it in 15 years we had a meeting here the other day about how to install it and it’s it’s a sort of easy and complicated also one thing I want to mention about this is when I was in art school I saw my friend Ken Lum had a show at the Vancouver Art Gallery and he made these great sculptures using furniture and that was also it was a slight kind of nod to Ken in this piece and he has a he has a lot of thoughts and work and ideas around furniture and ideas of home and whatnot you showed it exactly the same place like a red doughnut yeah that he made yeah the red sort of seating yeah so let’s look at a few images together so sorry we have skull which you can see at the front of the museum made with baseball’s some of the freezer work so many of my family and moon some of the drums furniture drums on tables a tombstone the new work kind of turtle on filing cabinets if you like you’re an artist it seems to have a lot of interest in museological sort of apparatus amounts and pedestals as such and I think you know contemporary most contemporary art sort of shied away from those thing and you know squirt most contemporary sculpture the idea of the pedestal is kind of banished I’m sort of curious what you’re doing with freezers and tables and filing cabinets well I like I like using ready-made materials for certain things listen I like using ready-made materials for certain things and I think with with the freezers is especially that’s a project that I kind of started again back at when I was back home one summer I was hanging out like where my family is lives and they there’s a lot of folks who are hunters up there and they all have deep freezers and they’re all usually outside and I started like putting things on them because I noticed that they looked at these great white museum pedestals and I would create these elaborate balancing sculptures and I want I was interesting seeing who looked at them a sculpture and who just looked at them as kind of like junk and pushed them off and that really started me thinking about using them as more in a more formal environment like in actually in a museum so these pieces are are in awakes

portraits or it should be to where I come from and and they using very common things you would see up in Port st. John area like freezers car parts and animal hides what’s in the freezers in these freezers ice cream so filing cabinets yeah this is a more new piece I wanted to use filing cabinets for a long time I back in Vancouver I was thinking of ways of using them I saw another artist who did these great things and he was crushing them and I really really after I saw that I’m like okay I can’t really use filing cabinets but I wanted to I made this piece with this tortoiseshell and this to us in the form of a tortoiseshell as something to represent Turtle Island and the physical representation of the earth and I kind of returned to the filing cabinet because I wanted to I wanted the earth essentially to be sitting on this like representation of like endless bureaucracy or like paperwork and so that’s kind of what I decided to do Rubbermaid stools a little plastic Rubbermaid stools that those things I had lying around in my studio for a long time and I made either I made other work with oh did you lose me can you hear me okay I made other work with these stools in the past but they just kind of sat on yeast for a long time so and I made did a kind of project with garbage bins that I made these large carapace sculptures out of in different museums and that was all got recycled so I didn’t I wanted to have something like that represented in this show there’s a little bit of the geodesic dome and the you see the drawing yeah I’ve never really been able to make a geodesic doughnut ride but like there – Matt there – perfect in a way like I can’t mess it up somehow the turtle form um just really just trial and error like again in the archive when I was making a lot of the work had friends that just kind of would photograph or videotape me so if you might see all the footage of me trying to build a whale sculpture and it’s the same thing I was like just trying out different things I mean I met you while you’re working on this you were working on it for quite a long time and I think you’re so shoulder was a little bit sore and and you were kind of exhausted and slightly frustrated by this object there’s really like a lot of building up of material but you then go in and cut away it’s quite a quite a physical activity people might not realize that yeah I mean I worked on a whole winter and at one point I had to have my I had surgery it was very minor but I think like the painkillers had some sort of like effect on because I completely had to go back to the drawing board at one point and start over by use materials that are like fairly common and and affordable so it’s like I can just go get more if I need them kind of thing it’s got a little bit of future as a minute as well when I look at it I think of a Star Trek or the Thunderbirds or Star Wars and some spaceship that’s going to take off and perhaps take take some people somewhere else or some animals I’m not sure why but it feels like it might take off yeah it’s just look at a few more images with you Tyrande switch is a work with deer hide and kind of a fiber-optic cable is all right downstairs dragonfly is kind of a series of jerrycans we have that brian has drilled into men of my family the freezer work which we talked about with the car parts and the drama forms the freezer the furniture furniture sculptures walking hard with the kind of drum technology we have one more yeah so five-year universe a print that you made in 2013 shown two different ways here you can see when I look when I look at this work these sculptures that were made from 2008 onwards I’m just kind of curious about the new sort of sculptural vocabulary that you’re introducing in

your work there are no word air jordans to be seen and you’re working with a very different set of materials that I think are really influenced by your experience and kind of northern landscapes where rural landscape so I just would want to know if you could open up that a bit for the audience what’s happening in this body of work these different works yeah sure I mean I when I was living in Vancouver this is before I left the city I had lived in cities for about 20 or so years and I don’t think I was ever quite comfortable living in the city so I spent a lot of time out in nature either by myself or with friends or his family and that was one of the great things about living in Vancouver is that it’s an accessibility to wilderness but I often would go back home back up to the northeast of BC and I started spending quite a bit of time there from about 2006 to 2009 that’s where I made like the gas can work and whatnot but the the piece that you were just showing there I also had a I did a fellowship at the Smithsonian and I met all sorts of Native American artists and they all had prints but they would like to that they traded like drawings or paintings and I didn’t have any prints to trade and I got me interested about the idea of in the history of printmaking especially in in the Inuit art and I just really like the idea of trying just like how i heid was once something sculptural and it becomes flat I wanted to somehow represent that in sculptural form and so I made the series of prints and drums using elk and moose hide and I cut circles out for the drums and made drums out of furniture in my house and made these prints using silver ink and my assistant and I just walked over top of this polyethylene foam to create these very ghostly almost like moon like or almost calendar or somehow there’s a time yeah they felt about other worlds names and I ever really did make prints on paper I try I just didn’t I become such a like two-dimensional or three-dimensional based person now so a little bit yeah so around that time i was back up north and i was actually at the 14 john friendships in there I stumbled upon a beading workshop and I met a couple young gals up there young artists and they were doing interesting work with beading and I was interested in trying that myself but I’m not I’m not really great with tiny little things I don’t have the hands but I kind of abandoned a beading but I really liked the idea that it was this it’s this like much like digital technology it’s creating these images that are very small pieces and I decided to try to do a reverse of that by instead of an additive process that do a subtractive process so I started to drill holes and I was using these gas cans their attempts at making some sculpture and I wasn’t happy with it so I decided to use them to do these kind of beadwork inspired sculptures I’m curious to hear you talk a little bit about these you know this this work alongside these particular walking heart these kind of furniture drums if you like this they seem to be really related but it’s almost like one is like the city yard and the other ones the country aren’t yeah pretty much yeah like these are kind of a tribute or to my family and this piece is called the men of my family who have a lot of drummers and in my family and so this is kind of a tribute to them and then I used to have a lot of modern furniture

but I used a lot of it to make this skull these sculptures and maybe that’s like like I’m happier my father is European so I’m half your PN and these are kind of a tribute to maybe that side of the family I love those chairs I should have kept them I think I think there’s some of the most beautiful works of the show and I guess I find I find them really compelling and I think they open up a whole new vocabulary for what kind of sculpture can be and it’s really great to have them in the gallery it’s really great to see them here it’s the first time they’ve showed in Canada is that uh yeah I think so yeah just go go for it a bit yeah so um you’ve made your home in a number of different places I think when I met you and late 90s you were already living in Vancouver you get moved from Fort st. John to go to school in Vancouver and when I met you I think he’d already lived for some time in Montreal and New York and you’d come back to Vancouver where you stayed made the prototypes various other works the whales as such really formative place for you and in 2014 you decided to leave the city and you’re now living in the Okanagan I’m just kind of curious has that has that has that move changed how you’re working how you’re making how you’re thinking or do you miss Vancouver do you would would you rather still be in the city or what I live close enough that I you know it’s well for Canada it’s like five hour drive that’s close that’s like I don’t know I get to the coast quite a bit I miss my friends there and stuff but I do like living out there and on the ranch and it’s like it may be a terribly middle-age thing where you like go back to the thing that you ran away from in your youth and like I grew up very early and in agriculture and stuff and I really found that I kind of need that in my life now so I have you know a really great studio there and yeah satellite internet so I visited Bryan a few times up here while working on the project and very gracious hosts I stayed with him and he opened up a lot of what he had been doing to me that I wasn’t aware of and he since he’s been making work with air jordans he’s kept every box that a pair of sneakers come in and I think he has probably over a thousand boxes and he’s filled those boxes I think when he moved and over time living in Vancouver he filled those boxes with things that were inspirational things he wanted to tuck away and he sat down with me for a few days and we opened them looked inside and then I thought it might be interesting to show find a way to show the contents of the boxes here at the gallery so there’s a room devoted to the kind of so called archive the boss some of the empty boxes are there on show to kind of give a sense of what houses a lot of these objects and on the monitors you get to see some of the contents of the boxes along with Brian’s own photographs in fact he he does take photographs he’s not a bad photographer and there’s quite a quite a lot of video materials so we have probably two or three hours of video material I’m curious what made you want to bring that kind of material forward some of its quite personal in fact a lot of analog photographs connected to your family life growing up oh yeah I mean I I think I just wanted to start sharing a bit more of my past I’ve been very private person and images like this have snuck out and people kind of know that I’ve spent a lot of time up in the mountains and whatnot so I wanted to kind of start talking about that or sharing sharing some of where I come came from also everybody who’s business visit in my studio they all kind of lose it when they see this giant wall of shoeboxes and they don’t want to know what’s in them so I decided it’s kind of like a project that’s going to be ongoing it’s gonna continue but we can I can kind of share some of that so they’re about three thousand I think five hundred images on the monitors as a kind of five-hour program you can watch those beautiful images of trips you’ve taken intense sestra lines also these

things are in some of the boxes what are they those are berry pickers and I just found them on the ranch like when I bought that place it was had been badly neglected and it’s a beautiful property but yeah so it’s been taking a lot of effort to turn it around and fix it up but that we keep finding some amazing kind of things there yeah I think that’s just from a thrift store but I love the title it’s a little bit of driftwood in the front or just in case you don’t like logs I guess there’s also a lot of material in there too about process about how he makes some great footage of him trying to piece together a whale some great footage of him and Visser eating a sneaker it’s what about process a lot about making exhibitions as well so interesting if you have the time to take with it so yeah we have also a film and this exhibition are kind of film film installation video installation can you talk a little bit about why we wanted to go back into this film Brian I worked on this with Duane Linklater in 2012 and they produced a kind of silent narrative film about moose hunting and I thought it was kind of finished and done and we talked about showing it here and Brian had some other ideas yeah I mean I think I always wanted this is something Dwayne and I were both interested in all along is that to show try to represent much more than immersive experience of being out there and we had talked about doing more like an installation and multi-channel installation and the opportunity came up to do that here and Duane what decided that he would like to do his own cut of the film and this one could be mine so I worked with really great editor and she and I kind of kind of sewed together about five hours of footage across five screens and it’s not that much longer than the original but it offers a much kind of wider I guess peripheral peripheries of the experience yeah so that was kind of and it’s just it just loops it not it’s not really like it the other one had much more of a kind of almost cinematic sensibility to it I think is it fair to think about your process of going back into that film a little bit about how you think about envisioning potential and other objects so the idea of the way you you look at a sneaker and can kind of make it be or see it as something else the same with the the plastic patio chairs the idea that you go back into the film as they’re similar but I mean with something like this like the act of going hunting it just it has a built-in narrative so it’s like it’d be very confusing to people to check if you started to kind of cut that up too much so I kept certain things intact from the original but we do Wayne and I decided to use film rather than video because we actually didn’t know if the film would even turn out like we used a professional cameraman and rented equipment but we liked how the the medium we chose was act was kind of marrying the act of hunting itself we didn’t know we were gonna get an animal we were not there so it was at one point I thought maybe we should just actually just show the reels but there’s a lot of just boring walking on a trail so it’s easier if you can break that up into multiple channels so we talked about the prototypes earlier the 23 prototypes or prototype for new understanding you finished making those in 2005 you did a little bit of work with their Jordan sneaker since but not really very much she kind of left it alone and surely after you move to the ranch I sort of imagine you’re sitting in your new studio trying to figure out what next and somehow the Air Jordan lands on your desk again how does that work well I when I was living out there I I get approached by all sorts of different people and media to do interviews about

the work I did with Air Jordans and I kind of realized that I’m like forever tied to that product and I got a call one day from ESPN and they wanted to do an interview with me and I thought if sports culture is now like interested in visual culture and visual art and they like unless I should probably pick these up again and see what I could do with them they also started making them and I’ve been a huge variety of colors which they never used to do that so I kind of secretly started buying them again they’re also a lot easier to buy now line like when I started making the lemon back in the 90s there was no online shopping so you had to physically go get them so now it’s a little bit easier and yeah so I decided to try different ways of making them this time and initially it was like I I thought it might be interesting to use the same tools that were used to make the shoes using heavy equipment and or heavy shop equipment and industrial sewing machines and stuff and so that’s you can see examples where it like I’ve run the shoes through bandsaw so they all have the identical cut some things like that and then I eventually kind of went back to that to the handheld and the hand tools for the most recent work I’m something something like this I guess when I first looked at it I guess it’s one of the first works to also introduce kind of natural material the leather along with with the shoe but you know you’ve really been able to it seems there’s a sense there’s a kind of virtuosity with ‘she now and that you can find feathers in soles of sneakers like where you found whale bones and somehow whale bones and and and chairs and these works also warrior where one seem to have kind of a kind of more serious or perhaps aggressive tone when you compare them to the first prototype series which somehow feel almost innocent in comparison to these works which are I think in some ways much more ambitious larger really testing what you can do at this time in your life yeah I mean I I tend not to look at consumer goods the same way most people do and like look at their possibilities beyond their use and so I things like the chairs and stuff it became very confident about how and I also knew their structural limitations and how far I could push them and so working with the trainers was pretty much the same thing you know I also started working because a lot of my work has wound up in museums I’ve become quite close contact with a lot of conservationists because Air Jordans really weren’t meant to last beyond five years so museums and collectors are trying to you know preserve them as long as possible so I’ve kind of figured out a way that I could cut out most of the adhesives and that’s kind of how I started arriving at the idea of the feather just how I could kind of cut out certain parts but it also is very I mean it’s very similar to like gutting a salmon like it has very similar motions into like like field dressing animals or cleaning fish and stuff so there’s also a sense of kind of using other parts of the kind of shoe if you like the the lace and kind of finding fur and feathers and the laces for like in this example and Alex you kind of see the tufting and such yeah so I started to like pay more attention to like a lot of traditional ways of making things and indigenous technology you can see that in the drums and stuff but I I saw these um these caribou tufted garments and artworks that I was really kind of fast so I did this horse series that are kind of a tribute to a lot of Inuit artists and stuff and that’s where I kind of tried using the laces a bit more this is canoe Joe Acker oh no I love drugs our drugs is a grow as it is a pharmacy in Vancouver in the Downtown Eastside

that like I just always loved the name of it and this to me reminded me of some sort of like tripped of psychedelic owl I think I’m one of the things we see for the first time in the show maybe more publicly but when you started making this new series there they’re all where many of them are wearable the warrior series in particular I think are all bearable and you made a new work for the show where we actually have a performer dancer wearing wearing one of your works and I’m just curious yeah so the the new works are a lot more wearable and I think over the last 10 years or so I started to attend a lot more powwow in BC and Alberta and I was out in southern Alberta and I saw these like Cheyenne Dog Soldiers and some I think – Tina Reserve and and I was so blown away by their presence just invite anyone to look up the China dog soldier when they go home the images are quite incredible so that’s kind of where I started where I started making these more of these kind of war bonnet pieces I really wanted them to be alive and happened to have this very same movement so I kind of like trial and error again tried to make something was had the same sort of power and presence but these are I mean this thing is like 24 pairs of shit or shoes so that’s actually quite heavy I couldn’t lift it I tried and I wanted arrived I could pick it up so it’s like something I have not have to consider it’s like how to make the work a bit more lighter stuff like that if it’s gonna be worn yeah there’s a dancer wearing wearing this last night and he really I was thinking about his neck the whole time but he really made this work like looked like it was made of feathers and I thought I thought that was incredibly impressive in the sense that you didn’t feel the sense of the weight of this work on his body in any way so very beautiful I want to thank you Brian for this talk tonight and thank you for the great privilege of working with you and making the show and you’ve been so generous tonight and this talk of massive thank you to you