Source Book 1: Brian Jungen appears on the occasion of the exhibition Brian Jungen in Witte de With (December 2, 2006 – February 11, 2007), curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen and Zoë Gray.

Brian Jungen is an artist who treats his dual cultural heritage as a resource, as a site for creativity. His work is complex and multifaceted in its exploration of cultural identity, whether national, international, or transnational. He plays with ethnographic conventions and undermines the clichés of contemporary globalized culture, making unusually beautiful objects that are located at the intersection between the readymade, appropriation, transformation and translation.

This publication functions not only as a record of Brian Jungen’s exhibition at Witte de With, but also as a textbook that complements and extends the existing publications on his work. The interview by Solange de Boer and Zoë Gray with Homi K. Bhabha – a key thinker in postcolonial studies and in the notion of cultural hybridity – is here a metadiscourse, bringing to the fore the concepts at the heart of Jungen’s practice and acting as a theoretical umbrella to this entire project. Edgar Schmitz’s essay takes us into the architectural interior of Jungen’s projects, revealing the artist’s fascination with both human and animal behavior, and the monstrous potential of the point at which they overlap. Jessica Morgan reflects upon her own experience of curating a project with Jungen, and shares with us her insights into his working method. Jungen’s monumental whale skeleton sculptures are the subject of study for Clint Burnham, who regards them in the light of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Through this diverse range of approaches and written formats, and through the experience of the exhibition itself, we aim to enable numerous points of entry into the intricate practice of this important international artist.


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