Jeneen Frei Njootli, Epistemic leghold trap, 2020. Video, color, sound; 4:06 min. Courtesy the artist and Macaulay & Co. Fine Art, Vancouver, B.C.

In Epistemic leghold trap (2020), hands gently hold a long, delicately interwoven chain made of black glass beads. The footage of the hands moving downwards repeats as we hear sounds of snippets of conversation, echoing gunshots, and a voice that softly sings. Jeneen Frei Njootli (b. 1988, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada) incorporates beads in direct relationship to the body itself—beads hold rich meaning and significance in the history and culture of the Vuntut Gwitchin, the First Nations community to which the artist belongs. The intercut footage denies a distinct narrative or view of a body fully constituted, a gesture of refusal and protection. Epistemic leghold trap is presented as part of the 2021 Triennial, “Soft Water Hard Stone,” on view at the New Museum from October 28, 2021–January 23, 2022.