Brian Jungen and Duane Linklater, Modest Livelihood, 2012, color film in Super 16 mm transferred to Blu-ray, 50 minutes.
This new work from Canadian artist Brian Jungen and recent MFA recipient Duane Linklater builds up a slow narrative of “life on the land.” Without any dialogue or sound, it proves to throw quite a few punches at the meta-narrative of Western North America; who discovered what and where? The film’s pace and imagery begin to unravel a life lived to the margins—one entirely modest. Devoid of overarching masculine tropes and Eurocentric racialization of aboriginal peoples, the film becomes much more about aboriginal labor (production). A short article at Artforum provides a few facts missing from the Globe and Mail article linked in the screenshot above—there’s more background on the selection of the film’s title.