There are several elements to Subject, Silver, Prism. Silver ink is applied to blocks of black foam. A simple stand, reminiscent of cheap furniture, supports a drum constructed from deer hide stretched over plastic cooking bowls and held taut by the hide and twine. The tightness of the drum and the stiffness of its table offset the floppy softness of the black foam. The semantic and visual echo between the pots-and-pans drums of suburban children and the deer hide and wood drums of First Nations people are literally bound together in this piece.
Brian Jungen’s works create complex interrelationships between global consumer commodities and traditional First Nations objects. He often physically reworks brand-name products into forms associated with First Nations material culture, such as masks and teepees. More than a simple critique of American-European imperialism, Jungen’s hybrids are irreducible to either trajectory or even a one-way process of influence.