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Jeneen Frei Njootli: from strength to this question

Through sound, action and mixed-media installation, Jeneen Frei Njootli’s work explores the history embedded in materials, and power relations in connection to land.

Event/Exhibition meta autogenerated block.


Remai Modern

Frei Njootli’s new work, from strength to this question (2019), begins with a live performance on March 1. The artist combines vocalizations with sound generated from objects including skidoo hoods and beads, using contact microphones and effects pedals to create a complex sonic experience. An audio recording of the performance animates the space for the duration the installation. The sound connects everything in its path as it moves through the museum: bodies, surfaces and structures.

Jeneen Frei Njootli,from strength to this question, Installation view, Remai Modern, 2019. Photo: Blaine Campbell

The skidoo hoods also remain, carrying traces of the artist’s touch. from strength to this question is part of Frei Njootli’s ongoing engagement with the skidoo and its important social, cultural and economic role in Vuntut Gwitchin communities. The disassembled forms—at once industrial and animal—appear as parts of a fractured body or shell. Separated from their original use, they take on new value and meaning.

Unless otherwise posted, from strength to this question will be played at 15 minutes past each hour, during regular museum hours.

The annual RBC Emerging Artist Series provides support for the production of a new work at Remai Modern. The projects take place in different areas of the museum and may include site-specific installations, interventions or performances.

Jeneen Frei Njootli,from strength to this question, Installation view, Remai Modern, 2019. Photo: Blaine Campbell


Jeneen Frei Njootli is an interdisciplinary Vuntut Gwitchin artist, who has been living and working as an uninvited guest on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, Sto:lo and Tsleil-Waututh territories for a decade. Through sound-based performances, textiles and mixed media installation work, Frei Njootli explores the history embedded in cultural materials, geopolitics and the politics of Indigenous art.

For her recent Media Arts Residency at the Western Front in Vancouver, she hosted a free workshop on how to create and update Wikipedia pages for Indigenous women artists. The 2017 recipient of the Contemporary Art Society Vancouver Artist Prize, she has exhibited at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Fierman Gallery in New York, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the Vancouver Art Gallery among others. After graduating from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2012, Frei Njootli completed her MFA at the University of British Columbia in 2017.

Curatorial Team

Curated by Rose Bouthillier, Curator (Exhibitions)