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Q&A: The intersection of sports and art from an Indigenous perspective –

by ahnationtalk on October 10, 201990 Views

What is the relationship between sports and art? How do you juxtapose the history of native art in Canada with modern day references? Indigenous artist Brian Jungen tackled all of these complex issues in his exhibit, “Brian Jungen Friendship Centre,” at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Jungen’s art is a commentary on how professional sports have replaced other types of ceremonies in 2019. Sports, perhaps even more than art, have a place on reserves and play a vital role in the fellowship of the community. But like many Indigenous stories, it’s not a message that has been on display for the rest of the country to see. Enter Jungen, whose exhibit is inspired by Friendship Centres, a non-profit organization that supports Indigenous people living in cities.

Using elements in basketball culture like making native masks made from cut-up pieces of Nike Air Jordan shoes (the most desired shoe among kids on reserves) and having the exhibit floor modelled after a basketball court, Jungen has managed to tell a story about his heritage while highlighting the popularity of sports.

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