FIERMAN presents a solo exhibition by Jeneen Frei Njootli entitled NDN BURN, the artist’s first solo show in the United States. Frei Njootli is a member of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in the northern Yukon Territory of Canada. In her work Frei Njootli synthesizes Indigenous land-based systems of knowledge and traditional practices through sculptural works, residue, printed images, and sound-based performance.
Frei Njootli uses the standard issue black baseball cap as a launch point in her sculpture and performance, activating the ubiquitous headgear with animal fur, beadwork, and other cultural materials. Using handmade instruments, her sound is filtered through distortion pedals and an amplifier, while the cap serves to obscure visibility. Her vinyl works, prints of an impression of beads into skin, the artist’s own, evoke a similar, and equally political, play of revelation and concealment. Frei Njootli’s varied practice further probes the history embedded in her materials as well as their relationship to trade, regalia, and the politics of Indigenous art. Frei Njootli is a co-creator of the ReMatriate Collective, a Canada-wide group of Indigenous women seeking image sovereignty.
Jeneen Frei Njootli (b. 1988) lives and works in Vancouver, BC. Since 2016 her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, AB; Mercer Union, Toronto, ON; Macaulay & Co Fine Arts, Vancouver BC; the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC; Artspace, Peterborough, ON; among others. In 2018 she will have a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC. She has been recently nominated for the prestigious Sobey Award from the National Gallery of Canada.