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Court, 2004

Brian Jungen
Canadian, 1970
sewing tables, painted steel, paint, basketball hoops and backboards
2500 x 300 x 250 cm installed
Gift of the Rennie Collection, Vancouver, 2012
National Gallery of Canada (no. 45577)
Photo © NGC

Court appears to be an elevated basketball court complete with backboards and nets. Yet it becomes immediately obvious that this is no place for a game. Jungen’s title infers not only a place for a ball game, but also the notion of a court of law. As with many of his other sculptures, Jungen is interested in the social implications of labour exploitation and market-driven desire. Here, he contrasts the low wages earned by workers who labour to manufacture the shoes with the multi-million dollar contracts signed by the professional basketball players who wear them. The view from the raised platforms that support the nets imparts a sense of dominance over the court. In Jungen’s Court, social issues come into play and viewers are given the space to make their own judgments.

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Brian Jungen talks about his work Court (5 min 13 sec)

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Installing Brian Jungen's Court