Jeneen Frei Njootli, ‘Contemporary Spirit Regalia 1’, 2013, Fazakas Gallery

These works are from a 2013 installation entitled "Thunderstruck". The series was comprised of performance, photography, video and sculpture. It first appeared at Toronto's Whippersnapper Gallery, which was co-presented by the international Decolonial Aesthetics of the America's Symposium. In their inception, these figurative and silhouette works were displayed as false fronts to create an architectural dream space. Frei Njootli examines the cross points between colonization through materials and Indigenous psychogeography. Using these tactics, the artist seeks to understand the influence of the constructs of home spaces/places/nonplaces on one’s psyche. Large-scale screen prints on composite wood depict figures dressed in contemporary spirit regalia, which represent archetypes and heroes derived from a myth Frei Njootli’s practice is constructing. The figures interact with altered traditional objects such as muskrat traps, stretchers, antler, skins and ric rac. This series explores the histories that materials embody and examines how they have shaped, helped and hindered Indigenous peoples’ in their concept and creation of art, home, regalia, religion and community.

About Jeneen Frei Njootli