• Jeneen Frei Njootli
    It Works if You Work It
    by Dana Qaddah

  • Posted by @hauntprojects on 04/04/2020 (reposted 28/04/2020)
    View original (reposted) Instagram post here.

    smoke has painted the air, as it did the canvas hung at the back of the room. we surround as our palms surround the warmth of Cease’s tea. Jeneen is positioned by an amplifier, mixer, pedals, a red bundle lies on the edge, folded in itself. untouched.

    drawn by our senses, an audible projection fills the room. inhibition exposed, it saturates every breath into an unseen microphone.

    vulnerability is heavy. our breath grows heavy as well. looping hums, the voice of Jeneen, disoriented order of what we heard first. reaching for the red bundle, unfolding it reveals a red parka, a gift from a cousin from a grandmother.

    [Image Description 1: Jeneen Frei Njootli, It Works if You Work It, 2019. Audio equipment, including a subwoofer, an amp, a mixer, several pedals and cords, sits on a wood floor next to white walls. Near the equipment sits a small red bundle.]

    fringe running up the sleeve, across the back, and down the other sleeve. the red parka is folded in and around a snapback, a fringed rim covering Jeneen’s face down the length of the parka. they don the street-style regalia.

    the looping, humming, distortion, they become part of the background to which the fringed body responds. thunderbird pose.

    Jeneen sways, their movement turns into dance, the dance of bodies exuding the knowledge of the natural and the nurtured. the land and the concrete. it’s interspatial, intergenerational.

    the dance turns into flight. body, face, and voice hidden behind the sway. arms, back and forth they move, high and low. figure and fringe, like red waves crashing inversely. we see them crashing, we hear it too. body and voice turned vessel for mutual suffering and healing. Jeneen is looking at us, but we do not see their face. we are implicated.

    corroborating expression, how does one navigate the pain that comes with knowledge of moving through land and history?

    a dance of generations, the dance they have been and the dance they have become.

    -Dana Qaddah

    [Image Description 2: Installation View of attachment, December 2019. Several sculptures are on display in a white gallery with wood floors. In the foreground, a light-coloured sculpture made from hooded coats hangs from a horizontal line. The coats are joined together at the sleeve. In the background, to the left, is a sculpture made from several combined materials, including a wheeled dolly. To the right of the image, a light-coloured canvas hangs against the wall, suspended by a steel bar.]

    Jeneen Frei Njootli
    It Works if You Work It
    a performance as
    part of attachment
    Nov 28, 2019–Feb 1, 2020
    Macaulay & Co. Fine Art
    Vancouver, BC

    Images courtesy
    the artist and gallery:
    pg. 3-4| Jeneen Frei Njootli,
    It Works if You Work It, 2019

    pg. 8-9| Installation view of
    attachment, Dec 2019

    Photo credit: Barb Choit

    This post was made possible through a private donation of $250. The author was paid $225 for their work and $25 was allocated to administrative costs. To support further haunt texts with a donation please direct message @hauntprojects or email us at info@hauntgallery.ca