VIRTUAL TOUR: "Crux (as seen from those who sleep on the surface of the Earth under the night sky)"
Artist Brian Jungen (Dunne-za First Nations/Swiss-Canadian) transforms familiar consumer goods into unexpected objects that question globalization, pop culture, museums, and the commodification of Native culture.
Jungen first came to prominence with Prototypes for New Understandings (1998-2005), for which he fashioned Nike footwear into masks that suggested Northwest Coast iconography. Later works have included a pod of whales made from plastic chairs, totem poles made from golf bags, and a massive basketball court made from 224 sewing tables.
Created on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbor for the 2008 Sydney Biennale, Jungen's piece Crux depicts animals native to Australia which figure prominently in the constellations defined by Indigenous Australians: a crocodile, an emu, a shark, a possum, and a sea eagle. Crux is the formal name for the constellation commonly known as the Southern Cross. The mobile suggests themes of displacement and disorientation, lost luggage, and the question of who has the right to name the stars.
See Crux on display in the Potomac Atrium of the National Museum of the American Indian.