Brian Jungen uses the ubiquitous white plastic lawn chair to create sculptures of skeletal whales. Shapeshifter is the perfect name for an installation of a mammal whose vertebrae are made up of cheap chairs and while also tying in the notion of First Nations mythology. Shapeshifter is the popular term for any sort of being that transforms or mutates from one state to another and Jungen found this to be a good way to represent his desire to commemorate the ‘save the whales’ movement of the 60s. Disappointed that there were no artifacts from this time, and far less passion about the topic than there once had been, Jungen set out to play with the ideas of scientific exhibits, a revived eco-consciousness and the use of accessible consumer goods in the visual arts. Cetalogy is a more recent example of Jungen’s work in his Secession series, as is Vienna.
Artist: Brian Jungen